AAAED Announces the 2021 Founders Award Honorees

Logo for AAAED 47th National Conference

AAAED 47th National Conference Logo

Dr. Freddie Groomes-McLendon

Founders Award Honoree Dr. Freddie Groomes-McLendon

Founders Award Honoree Beth Wilson, JD

Founders Award Honoree Beth Wilson, JD

AAAED will honor former Association presidents Dr. Freddie Groomes-McLendon and Ida “Beth” Wilson, JD, on Oct. 15th

We are delighted to honor our courageous and conscientious leaders who guided AAAA/AAAED in the formative years of the association and during the evolution of the civil rights laws and regulations.”

— Dr. Richard Anthony Baker, President, AAAED

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, September 27, 2021 / — The American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED), an organization of equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action professionals established in 1974 as the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), announced that Freddie Groomes-McLendon, Ph.D. and Ida "Beth" Wilson, JD, will be honored as Founders of AAAA, now AAAED, at the Annual Awards Ceremony held on Friday, October 15, 2021. The Awards Ceremony will occur during AAAED’s 47th National Conference (October 7 – 15, 2021), themed “Reflect, Reset and Move Towards Justice, Equity and Inclusive Excellence.” The Awards program will take place virtually from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET and will be open to the press. “We are delighted to honor Dr. Groomes-McLendon and Attorney Beth Wilson, our courageous and conscientious leaders who guided AAAA/AAAED in the formative years of the association and during the evolution of the civil rights laws and regulations, including Executive Order 11246, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Rehabilitation Act and Title IX," said Dr. Richard Anthony Baker, president of AAAED. The AAAED Founders Award is presented to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of founders and former presidents of AAAA/AAAED: This is the first year that AAAED will confer the award.

Dr. Freddie Groomes-McLendon is a native of Jacksonville, Florida, but has been a resident of Tallahassee most of her adult life. After receiving her B.S. degree in Home Economics, a M.S. in Counseling and Guidance from Florida A &M University, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Florida State University, she began a distinguished career in education as a teacher and administrator. During her career, she was in demand as an international lecturer and consultant requiring travel to Yugoslavia, South Korea, Russia, Peru, Tokyo, Japan, Italy, and England. She retired from her position as Executive Assistant to the President of Florida State University in 2003, after 40 years of professional service. Dr. Groomes-McLendon served as president of AAAA from 1978 to 1980.

Ida “Beth” Wilson, J.D. served as AAAA President from 1998 – 2000. Beth Wilson served as Associate Vice President for Access and Equity and Executive Assistant to the President at Southern Methodist University from July, 2003 and has since retired. Her responsibilities included developing and implementing policies and programs that ensure both equal access and equitable treatment for the diverse populations of students, faculty and staff at SMU. Wilson is an attorney, consulting company president and certified mediator. She served as associate provost of Columbia University from 1995 to 2000 and held adjunct faculty positions at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University School of Law. She administered affirmative action programs for the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Public Schools and University Hospital and Clinics in Oklahoma City. Wilson served as consultant for numerous clients, including civic organizations, universities, law schools and other education bodies in Oklahoma, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Vermont and Maryland. She recently retired as a member of the Faculty of the AAAA/AAAED Professional Development and Training Institute.

The AAAED 47th National Conference and Awards Ceremony is open to the press. For more information or to register for the Conference, go to:
To purchase a ticket for the awards ceremony, or to be a sponsor, click here:
There is no charge for news media, but they are asked to register at
For more information about the AAAED Awards Ceremony, email: or Rosemary Cox at

To join the longest-serving association of equal opportunity professionals, click
For information about past AAAED award recipients, click

Founded in 1974 as the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), AAAED is a national not-for-profit association of professionals working in the areas of equal opportunity, compliance and diversity. AAAED has 47 years of leadership in providing professional training to members, enabling them to be more successful and productive in their careers. It also promotes understanding and advocacy of affirmative action and other equal opportunity laws to enhance the tenets of access, inclusion and equality in employment, economic and educational opportunities. AAAED is the longest-serving organization for the Equal Opportunity Profession. Its tagline is “Advocate. Educate. Activate.”

Shirley J. Wilcher
American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity
+1 240-893-9475
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Source: EIN Presswire