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University Relations

p (785) 864-3256
f (785) 864-3339
Jan. 14, 2005
Contact: Sheryl Williams, (785) 864-2027; or Deborah Dandridge, (785) 864-2028.

KU Libraries honors Kansas City civic leader with exhibit through February

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas Libraries is honoring Dorothy Hodge Johnson, a longtime civic leader in the Kansas City area, in a new exhibition, "African-American Women Make a Difference: the Papers of Dorothy Hodge Johnson (1916-2004)," at KU's Spencer Research Library through Feb. 28.

The exhibition, also featured online at, marks the opening of the papers, which Johnson donated to her alma mater. The collection -- a large body of letters, photographs and printed works -- document an impressive legacy of a lifetime of leadership in service to the community. They are open for use by students, scholars and the general public.

Deborah Dandridge, field archivist in African-American history, and Sheryl Williams, curator of the Kansas Collection at the Spencer Research Library, will offer a gallery talk at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, at the Spencer Library, located behind Strong Hall at KU. They encourage KU instructors, students and community groups to contact them to arrange class and group visits.

A Kansas City, Kan., native, Johnson began her career in community service in 1937 when she joined the Kansas City Call as a reporter and the National Urban League as a community liaison. She served on the boards of leading civic organizations in Kansas City, Mo., including the YWCA, the City Committee and Council on Human Relations, and the City Children's Committee. In 1953, she was appointed director of the Florence Crittenton Home for Negro Girls and continued in that capacity until 1958, when the area's Crittenton Homes were integrated. She received KU's Distinguished Service Citation in 1974, Social Welfare Worker of the Year in 1977 from the Kansas City Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and Woman of the Year in 1990 by the Central Exchange, an organization of business and professional women in Kansas City, Kan.

She attended Stowe Elementary School and Northeast Junior High School and graduated from Sumner High School in 1933. She was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate in journalism from KU in 1937 and earned a master's degree in social welfare at KU in 1960.


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