Dr. Dudley Flood Receives North Carolina’s Highest Honor for His Historic Work Desegregating NC Public Schools

The namesake and inspiration of the Public School Forum of NC’s Dudley Flood Center for Educational Equity and Opportunity, Dr. Dudley Flood, has been awarded North Carolina’s highest honor for his historic work desegregating North Carolina’s public schools during the years following the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954.

The state’s highest civilian honor, the North Carolina Award, will be presented to nine distinguished North Carolinians this coming Thursday, November 18, at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Governor Roy Cooper will present the award to Dr. Flood, who will receive it in the category of “Public Service,” along with the eight other recipients.

“I am humbled by the fact that the State of North Carolina has provided me the opportunity to serve the people that I love deeply,” said Dr. Dudley Flood. “I have always regarded my labor as reasonable service, and I am most appreciative of this acknowledgement. I am committed to continuing this service for as long as I am able to do so.”

“Dr. Flood’s service to North Carolina has had — and will continue to have — a tremendous impact on our state for generations,” said Dr. Mary Ann Wolf, Executive Director of the Public School Forum of NC. “When the Brown v. Board of Education ruling was handed down by our nation’s Supreme Court, North Carolina’s schools did not automatically desegregate. It took the courage and dedication of Dr. Flood and his colleague, Gene Causby, to do the grassroots work of uniting divided communities in order to integrate our public schools. North Carolina is forever indebted to Dr. Flood’s service and love for our great state.”

Dr. Dudley Flood is a former educator and administrator in the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction who was instrumental in desegregating North Carolina schools. During his time at NCDPI, Flood, along with Gene Causby, was tasked with helping local communities desegregate their schools. In the years following the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision that outlawed school segregation in the United States, Flood traveled to every corner of North Carolina to unite divided communities and work toward integrating public schools. Flood spent 21 years at NCDPI helping to create a state where all students could learn. His dedication to educational excellence and school desegregation helped to ensure an equitable educational experience for all North Carolina school children.

“Dr. Flood’s legacy and body of work across North Carolina’s education landscape continues to have a lasting impact,” said Alfred M. Mays, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Public School Forum of NC. “His principles and vision on issues of equity in education serve as a north star for organizations and stakeholders whose mission is to ensure education equity, access, and opportunity.”

The Flood Center, housed at the Public School Forum of NC, is proud to have recently hosted our fourth annual Color of Education Summit, featuring award-winning author and journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, as well as racial equity advocates from across the state. To learn more about the Flood Center for Educational Equity and Opportunity and to see a list of events and resources, including our Student Voices Webinar Series, please visit www.ncforum.org/floodcenter and join us in the fight for equity, access, and opportunity in education.

For media inquiries, please contact Ashley Kazouh at 919-781-6833 x134 or akazouh@ncforum.org.