By Scott Halasz
WILBERFORCE — Dr. Algeania Warren Freeman was one of the last to know she had been added to the Walker’s Legacy, a list of the country’s most influential black women.
“A lady who is on the list with Uniglobe sent me a congratulations email,” Freeman said. “I was saying to myself ‘what is this?’ ” After doing some digging, Freeman was able to confirm she was on the list, but still had her doubts.
“I spoke with the people at the national office, I wanted to say ‘are you sure you haven’t made a mistake?’ ” Freeman said.
But it was no mistake.
Freeman, who earlier in the year was honored by the SABLE Journal of Health and Human Development as a living legend, is one of 15 alumnae from historically black colleges and universities named to the list.
Named in honor of philanthropist and activist C.J. Walker, the Walker’s Legacy, honors HBCU grads who are changing the game in their professions, communities and the nation.
Freeman, the 20th president at Wilberforce, was hired by the university to help bring it out of financial crisis and make changes to allow the school to keep its accreditation. She helped prepare and present a comprehensive plan to the Higher Learning Commission, which ruled the school would keep its accreditation. She has done similar things at other schools.
Also named were Oprah Winfrey, network sportscaster Pam Oliver, singer/songwriter Erykah Badu, Rasalind Brewer, president and CEO of Sam’s Club and Elizabeth Blount McCormick, co-owner of Uniglobe Travel Designers.
“I’m still in utter amazement,” Freeman said. “I said ‘who me?’ Surely not on the stage with Oprah Winfrey. Just to be on a list where she is, a woman who has made such a difference in the world is a humbling experience and it just makes me want to be even more committed to helping to change the lives of others.”
Freeman said she was proud to be the only educator on the list.
“Most of the time you don’t see educators’ names on lists with business people and entrepreneurs and people in the arts and that kind of thing,” she said.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.