Rise Up

By WVUA 23 Reporter Julia Smith

Ethel H. Hall was the first African American woman to graduate from the School of Social Work’s doctoral program at The University of Alabama. She was also the first African American female to serve as vice president of the Alabama State Board of Education.

Hall played a high role in creating the school’s first African-American Heritage Month Program, and the university named the annual celebration after her.

The 31st annual celebration was an educational conference. Guest speaker T. Marie King shared the importance of building a better global community. Speaker Alexus Cumbie said it starts in the classroom.

“I think to improve education, we have to engage our students so we have to meet our students where they are and their needs” Cumbie said.

Other than teachers making improvements in the classroom, speakers and a representative also encouraged everyone to take part in the upcoming census. It is important that everyone participates in the census to get the accurate record of the state’s population.

A inaccurate record can lead to a loss of a seat in Congress and the state could miss out on funding for education. With proper funding, education can continue to evolve and Hall’s mission for education can live on.

To participate in this year’s census to make sure that every classroom will receive the funding they need, the census can be filled out online, by mail and or even on a smartphone. For more information on how to fill out the 2020 census, visit

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