The North San Diego County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated joins the nation in mourning the loss of our 14th Past National President, Marie Frankie Muse Freeman, Esq and our 17th Past National President, Mona Humphries Bailey Ph.D.
Frankie Muse Freeman attended Hampton Institute from 1933 and 1936 and graduated from Howard Law School. She was on the legal team that filed suit against the St. Louis Board of Education in 1949—well before the 1954 landmark Brown decision in Kansas.
Frankie M Freeman was the lead attorney for the landmark NAACP case Davis et al. v. the St. Louis Housing Authority, along with Constance Baker Motley, Robert L Witherspoon and Thurgood Marshall then General Counsel for the NAACP. This decision ended legal racial discrimination in public housing within the city.
Frankie Freeman was appointed to the US Commission on Civil Rights in 1964 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. During her tenure, she earned a reputation as a determined fact finder who always insisted upon a firsthand assessment of the situations that the committee was called upon to investigate. Many of the recommendations that emerged from the hearings conducted during her first years on the commission were later incorporated into the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Frankie Freeman was subsequently reappointed by presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, and held the position until July 1979. She was appointed as Inspector General for the Community Services Administration during Jimmy Carter’s Administration in 1979. A year later, Ronald Reagan was elected president and demanded the resignation of all Democratic Inspector Generals appointed by previous presidents.
Freeman returned to St. Louis, where she practiced law until her passing. In 1982, She joined 15 other former high federal officials who formed a bipartisan Citizens Commission on Civil Rights, a group committed to ending racial discrimination and devising remedies that would counteract its harmful effects.
Frankie Muse Freeman was inducted into the National Bar Association’s Hall of Fame in 1990. In 2007, she was honored with a place on the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta. In 2011, she received the NAACP Spingarn Medal, the association’s highest honor. Gov. Jay Nixon proclaimed July 28, the day she received the award, as Frankie Muse Freeman Day in recognition of her work in advancing civil rights.
In 2015, President Barack Obama appointed Freeman to serve as a Member of the Commission on Presidential Scholars. Two years later, the St. Louis City chapter of the NAACP dedicated a bronze statue in her honor at Broadway and Chestnut Street, near the Old Courthouse.
Frankie Muse Freeman lived her life in service to others and devoted her life to the work of equal justice under the law. She was a champion of civil rights, and her legacy of service is one of the many reasons she was a true legal pioneer.
Mona Humphries Bailey received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from FAMU in 1954. She continued her education at Oregon State University where she earned a Master of Science in Science Education and later, a Ph.D. in Educational Administration at the University of Washington.
Mona Humphries Bailey served in various positions in the Seattle School District including Middle School Principal, Personnel Administrator, High School Counselor and Science Teacher. She also taught courses at the University of Washington and Seattle University. From 1974 to 1986 Dr. Bailey served as the Assistant State Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Washington, appointed by State Superintendent Frank B. Brouillett.
From 1990 to 1994 Mona Bailey served as Deputy Superintendent of the Seattle Public Schools after having served as one of the District’s Assistant Superintendents from 1986 to 1990. From 1998-2000 she served as Head of Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, an independent school for girls, and from 1995-1998 as the Director of The National Faculty’s Western Region. Prior to her death, she served as Senior Associate with the Center for Educational Renewal at the University of Washington and the Institute for Educational Inquiry in Seattle and was an independent consultant in the field of education.
Dr. Bailey has been honored throughout her life with many awards for her work and service. In 1999, Florida A&M University named her as one of the 100 most influential FAMUANS of the century. They also awarded her the Meritorious Achievement Award, the highest award bestowed by the University. Johnson Publishing Company listed her as one of the 100 most influential Black Americans.
She was extremely involved in her community and was Chair of the State Board for the Washington MESA Program (Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement). She was a member of several Boards including: Delta Research and Educational Foundation, The National Network of Sacred Heart Schools, and the Forest Ridge School.
Her previous public service included serving on the National Board of TransAfrica; the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Museum Foundation; The American Civil Liberties Union National Advisory Committee; Washington State Vendor Rates Advisory Committee; the Washington State Crime and Delinquency Board; Seattle’s University Preparatory Academy Board of Trustees; Women + Business Board of Directors; Pacific Science Center Board of Trustees; the City of Seattle Advisory Committee for the African American Heritage Museum; Board of Directors for the Washington Special Olympics; In Roads of Puget Sound; Mothers Against Violence; The Northwest Regional Laboratory’s Advisory Committee on the Education Profession and Improving the Outcome of Schooling; and the Pacific Science Center Foundation Advisory Committee.
In addition to these local and state leadership roles in education, Mona H Bailey was honored by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority with the highest award bestowed upon its members, The Mary Church Terrell Award at the Sorority’s 40th National Convention in 1990.
Mona Humphries Bailey was an ordinary, extraordinary woman!