Figure in History: Dauris Gwendolyn Jackson

By Alice Barrett

Dauris Gwendolyn Jackson

Dauris Gwendolyn Jackson (1933-1979) was the first African American woman elected to Wayne state University’s Board of Governors and the first ever elected to any Michigan university.  Jackson focused on civil rights and educational issues, believing “her primary mission on the board was as an advocate for change, for aggressive affirmative action, accessibility, and for helping the university become more reflective of and responsive to the surrounding community” (Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame).  She worked to create multiracial textbooks focusing on non-stereotypical depictions of African Americans.  She was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 2000 and is recognized in Barbara Love’s book Feminists who Changed America, 1963-1975.