National Education Association to honor former PSEA President Dolores McCracken posthumously with Human and Civil Rights Award

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National Education Association to honor former PSEA President Dolores McCracken posthumously with Human and Civil Rights Award

For further information contact:
Chris Lilienthal (717) 255-7134
David Broderic (717) 255-7169

HARRISBURG, PA (June 19, 2019) – The National Education Association will recognize former PSEA President Dolores McCracken with a prestigious NEA Human and Civil Rights Award next month.

McCracken, who passed away on Nov. 13 after a brief battle with cancer, is one of 12 outstanding social justice champions to be honored with one of NEA’s Human and Civil Rights Awards. She will be recognized with the H. Councill Trenholm Memorial Award.

Other award recipients include a civil rights activist who took part in the “Freedom Summer” movement of 1964 that attempted to register black voters in Mississippi despite racist literacy tests, poll taxes, and threats of violence, and the surviving members of the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike that caught the attention and support of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

All 12 award recipients will be honored during a July 3 ceremony at the General Assembly Theater at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

McCracken was praised by PSEA leaders and members for her decades of activism and commitment to equity in our schools as an education support professional and PSEA leader.

“Dolores dedicated her life to advocating for great public schools, Pennsylvania students, and the PSEA members she served,” said PSEA President Rich Askey. “Every step of the way, she has partnered with parents, the community, and her fellow educators and support professionals to make our public schools the best they can be.

“As a PSEA leader, Dolores was a passionate voice for social justice. She called out injustice everywhere she saw it and worked tirelessly to address racial, social, and economic disparities in our schools. Her vision for a better Pennsylvania energizes every PSEA member to be tireless advocates for all our students, just as Dolores was.”

Since 1967, the NEA has recognized and honored everyday heroes who fight for human and civil rights across the country with its Human and Civil Rights Awards.

“The recipients of the 2019 NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards are social justice champions, forging paths for opportunities for every student in every school no matter their ZIP code, and standing up against injustices everywhere,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “We proudly honor their contributions and sacrifices. By embodying what is right and just about the world in which we live, they motivate us to purposeful and principled action.”

McCracken was born in New York and raised in Philadelphia. After working for several years as a paralegal, she got involved in public education while her children attended elementary school, serving as the president of the Churchville Elementary Home and School Association. That experienced propelled her into a nearly two-decade career in public education, working as a paraprofessional in a sixth-grade inclusion classroom in the Council Rock School District.

Throughout that time, McCracken took an active role in PSEA. She served as the president of her local association and later took on numerous other leadership positions in her PSEA region and statewide.

McCracken served as president of PSEA from September 2017 until her death in November. She previously served as vice president and treasurer.

Read more about the NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards.

An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents about 181,000 active and retired educators and school employees, student teachers, higher education staff, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.