PBCC presented MLK Leadership Awards to Palm Beach County Commissioner Addie Greene (standing with Justice Anstead) and Barbara Matthews (center), Ed.D., a PBCC professor for more than 35 years. The College also presented a community organization award to ASPIRA (which means aspire in Spanish). The award was accepted by ASPIRA Director Cathy Anaya (standing right with PBCC at Lake Worth provost Maria Vallejo.
Addie L. Greene
Addie Greene has been a political figure in Palm Beach County and the state for nearly two decades. She made her first venture into politics in 1986 when she won a seat on the Mangonia Park City Council. In 1988, she was elected vice mayor and then mayor three years later.
In 1992, she became the first African American from Palm Beach County to be elected to the Florida House of Representatives. She was re-elected for a total of four consecutive terms. In 2000, she was elected to a four-year term on the Palm Beach County Commission. Last year she accepted the role of chair of the Palm Beach County Conference of Black Elected Officials.
Prior to beginning her political career, Greene taught high school in Palm Beach County for 12 years from 1965 to 1977 before joining the faculty at PBCC where she taught from 1977 to 2000.
She has always been an advocate for economic development and international trade. She has been able to work with the Port of Palm Beach, located both in her state house and county commission districts, to ensure it becomes the economic engine that drives Palm Beach County. As commissioner for District 7, Greene continues to strive as an advocate for poor working men and women.
She was born in Quinton, Ala., and is one of nine children. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stillman College in Alabama in 1965 and her master’s degree in education from Florida A&M University in 1973.
Dr. Barbara C. Matthews
From the marches in Washington in the 1960’s and the 70’s and the Tallahassee vigils in the 80’s to diversity in the new millennium, Dr. Barbara Matthews has been a tireless advocate and activist for civil, legal and human rights. In the mid-sixties, she conducted a study with recommendations on school desegregation in Palm Beach County. An outspoken proponent for early childhood education, she founded over 30 years ago the Montessori-based Center for Early Learning and three-track early childhood curricula at the College’s Lake Worth location.
Dr. Matthews was “in the basement�? in women’s and gender studies, and in 1975 developed the first formal feminist psychology course in the nation. The course endures, and the scholarship has emerged into a full-blown discipline around the country and abroad. For several years, she lobbied for a campus women’s resource and development center. She was a participant in the First National Men and Masculinity Conference in 1974, a national board member of the National Women’s Studies Association for six years, a presenter at the First International Women’s Research Conference in Montreal in 1982, an NGO delegate to the United Nation’s Women’s Conference in 1985 in Nairobi, and a presenter at the First Sino-American Women’s Issues Conference in Beijing in 1990. She returned to Beijing in 1995 as an NGO delegate to the UN World Conference on Women, the largest gathering of women activists in history.
Ending a 36-year teaching career at PBCC this year, Dr. Matthews has inspired thousands of psychology students and prospective teachers, “putting them in touch with their community.�? She has worked closely with Weed and Seed, Communities in Schools, Junior Achievement, and the Anti-Defamation League. A resource person for local organizations, a school board member for private schools, she also planned numerous programs and teach-ins and brought many notables to our campus. In 2001, she was the recipient of the national Psi Beta award at the American Psychological Association Convention in San Francisco.
Dr. Matthews is a graduate of Palm Beach Community College, earned the prestigious
Halsey and Griffith Scholarship, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from
Florida Atlantic University, and her doctorate in educational psychology from the
University of Tennessee.
ASPIRA Palm Beach, a division of ASPIRA of Florida, Inc., is a nonprofit community organization that has been serving Palm Beach County youth in grades K-12 since 1996. ASPIRA – the Latin word for aspire- was founded in the 1960s in New York to empower Puerto Rican youth through advocacy, education and leadership development. Today, ASPIRA operates programs in seven states and serve children of all backgrounds.
Under the leadership of Director Cathy Anaya, the 10 clubs in the Palm Beach County, including nine school-based clubs- work to educate children about the importance of diversity and tolerance while fostering their own cultural pride as well as motivate students to set goals and do the best they can to achieve them. It provides tutoring, homework assistance, scholarships and college tours and assists students with completing college admissions and scholarship forms.
The club participants or “aspirantes�? have been involved in numerous community service projects, including fundraisers and multi-cultural events, and they have attended West Palm Beach City Commission and other public meetings to help improve their social consciousness. Some aspirantes participated last year with a panel of youth to coordinate, implement and facilitate a countywide Hispanic/Jewish youth conference. They have adopted a section of road to keep clean and volunteered for the Special Olympics. The ASPIRA clubs meet on a weekly basis, operate under parliamentary procedures and elect peer representatives as officers of the clubs so children can strengthen and utilize their leadership skills.
More info - MLK Story in Perspectives Newsletter