Longtime grassroots activist Gertrude Jackson will receive an honorary degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in the Jack Stephens Center.
Jackson worked for 60 years for civil rights, social change and racial justice in the Arkansas Delta.
"Unsung activists like Ms. Jackson are often the lifeblood of impoverished Arkansas Delta communities in helping to sustain daily life," UALR Chancellor Joel E. Anderson said in a statement. Anderson nominated Jackson for the degree.
Jackson and her husband organized families to keep their children home when the white-dominated school board ignored sewer backups in the segregated Turner Elementary School. The people enlisted Jackson to lead efforts to improve school conditions after the success of that movement, the university said in a statement.
UALR said Jackson helped lead a group to establish the Boys, Girls, Adults Community Development Center in Marvell, which is aimed at developing the full potential of poor children and their families. She still volunteers at the center, helping the children in her community.