Dorothy Cotton, Civil Rights Pioneer, Dies at 88 | Sojourners

Dorothy Cotton, Civil Rights Pioneer, Dies at 88

Civil rights pioneer Dorothy Cotton died on June 10 at her retirement home in Ithaca, N.Y., according the Dorothy Cotton Institute official website. She was 88-years-old.

Cotton was part of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s inner circle and worked alongside him and other civil rights leaders at the front of the civil rights movement.

She was a leader in numerous institutes and organizations. She developed the Citizen Education Program where she trained marginalized people to become politically involved and organized and understand their civil. She was also a leader in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, serving as an educational director in the 1960s.

She also founded her own organization called the Dorothy Cotton Institute, a leadership institute concentrating in human rights training and skills.

Her life work was based on the “philosophy and practices of non-violence, reconciliation, and restoration, and grassroots leadership development,” according to the Dorothy Cotton Institute website.

Cotton was born in Goldsboro, N.C., in 1930 and was one of three sisters.