A submission through “DOVE Tell Us Your Story”:

State: WA

Past Residence: augusta, kennebec, me

School Years: My daughter went to a private school solely because the schools at Ft Belvoir were so bad. (For many years DoD had partnered with Fairfax County to run the elementary schools on post. But because of the resistance to desegregation, DoD took these schools back.) Please see continuation below.

Story: This story is different. In the mid-70s I was married & my husband was in the Army at Ft Belvoir, VA. Previously, DoD had contracted w/Fairfax County to run the post  elementary schools. I don’t know when DoD ‘took’ these schools away from Fairfax schools system, but when we came to Belvoir, DoD was running the schools & doing it badly–perhaps because DoD hadn’t the organization to do this effectively in this (and in other cases/locations in the south?). My younger daughter wasn’t a spectacular student, & we didn’t want her going to the Belvoir schools because of their lousy reputation. So she was enrolled in a local private (as I recall evangelical Baptist) school. Many years later I can say this was a big mistake. She took to the religion like a duck to water, I’m sorry to say, as I am a irreligious person. This has been a huge bone of contention between us. I know many children & parents of color faced much worse than we did but massive resistance affected us bysta  nders as well.

Submission made: Aug 15th 13, 9:22 PM

Oral histories from DOVE traveling exhibit now available online

Oral histories and documents collected during the DOVE traveling exhibit ‘School Desegregation: Learn, Preserve and Empower’ are now available in the DOVE Digital Collection at Old Dominion University Libraries. The collection also contains materials from the early 1950s through the 70s. Among the dovelogoregions represented in the collection are the City of Norfolk, Prince Edward County, Southside Virginia, Charlottesville and the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Included in the collection are photographs, documents, newspaper clippings and other items. Additional material will be added in the future.

Desegregation of Virginia Education (DOVE) Project Earns National Award for a Key Supporter, AARP Virginia

Warren Stewart at DOVE event in Hampton with Brenda Andrews, publisher of New Journal and Guide and Sonia Yaco

CHICAGO—AARP Virginia and Dr. Warren Stewart received the J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award will be presented at a ceremony during the Council of State Archivists and SAA Joint Annual Meeting in New Orleans, August 11–17, 2013.

The award honors an individual, institution, or organization that promotes greater public awareness, appreciation, or support of archives. AARP Virginia and Stewart, its past president, provided support for Desegregation of Virginia Education (DOVE), a history preservation project. DOVE, hosted by Old Dominion University Libraries, is a collaboration of archives and libraries that finds, locates, and encourages the preservation of material related to school desegregation in Virginia. In 2012, AARP formed a partnership with DOVE and civil rights groups to promote public awareness of the importance of preserving this history. The partners held “School Desegregation: Learn, Preserve, and Empower” events throughout Virginia, which featured an exhibit on the history of school desegregation, documentaries, and workshops.

The nominator, DOVE founder Sonia Yaco, noted that Stewart has a “lifelong belief in the importance of diversity in society [and] has shown tremendous dedication to preserving what he calls ‘the sad and glad stories’ of how schools became integrated.”

Established in 1989, the award is named for the noted American historian J. Franklin Jameson. Past recipients include the NBC program Who Do You Think You Are?, U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada), The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and The Chicago Tribune.

Sonia Yaco discusses Massive Resistance on BookTV &HistoryTV April 20-21rst

Sonia Yaco, DOVE co-chair and Old Dominion University’s Special Collections Librarian was interviewed about Massive Resistance and the DOVE project by C-Span’s BookTV. The interview will be part of an hour long show “BookTV in Virginia Beach, Virginia.” Broadcast times on C-Span2 BookTV are Saturday, April 20th at 12 pm (ET) Sunday, April 21st at 9 am (ET).  Yaco’s interview is also available online.


AARP to Present Community of the Year Award to Sonia Yaco and Old Dominion University.

Sonia Yaco to recieve award from AARP

Sonia Yaco with DOVE exhibit

Sonia Yaco, Special Collections librarian and university archivist at Old Dominion University, and Old Dominion University have been selected to receive the 2012 AARP Community of the Year Award. It will be presented to Yaco at the AARP All Volunteer Assembly Awards Recognition Banquet on Nov. 28.

The award is in recognition of Yaco’s leadership on the Desegregation of Virginia Education (DOVE), AARP, NAACP and Urban League project and traveling exhibit, “School Desegregation: Learn, Preserve, and Empower.”

The exhibit will be at  ODU’s Perry Library from Jan. 7 to Feb. 14, 2013.

DOVE exhibit at Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History, Nov. 6 – Dec. 16

Paula Martin Smith with DOVE exhibit

Paula Martin Smith with DOVE exhibit

The missing pieces of Virginia’s history puzzle are the thousands of untold stories of personal experiences with integration.  DOVE (Desegregation of Virginia Education) was created to find, catalog, and encourage the preservation of records that tell the story of Virginia’s school desegregation process.  From segregation to Massive Resistance to desegregation, people bore witness to emerging social change.  Their stories help us to understand the enormity of the struggle that brought about that change.

This event includes:

  • Sharing historic photographs, documents, and memorabilia
  • Recording your story (from 1950s to the 1980s) about desegregation
  • Viewing film footage of local history
  • Taking part in a Community Dialogue

This event is sponsored by the collaborative efforts of the Danville Historical Society, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History, AARP,  Virginia NAACP, and Urban League of Hampton Roads, Inc.

Opening Reception
Saturday, November 10,2012
3:00-6:00 PM

Bring letters, photos, fliers, and posters about school desegregation to donate to DOVE and the Danville Historical Society or to be scanned for digital archives. Call “C.B.” at 434-7934-5644 to schedule a recording time.

Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History
975 Main Street
Danville Virginia

Letter from AARP Virginia State President Warren Stewart


Warren Stewart at DOVE event in Hampton with Brenda Andrews, publisher of New Journal and Guide and Sonia Yaco

Warren Stewart at DOVE event in Hampton with Brenda Andrews, publisher of New Journal and Guide and Sonia Yaco

August 14, 2012

Dear Ms. Yaco:

Thank you for allowing AARP to team with the DOVE project this year as we helped educate communities across Virginia on the history of our Commonwealth.  Creating a traveling exhibit and showcasing this at a dozen sites is no easy task but together, we did it!  I do believe that the groundwork we’ve laid could bring about further opportunities in coming years as well.

We are especially pleased to have given individuals the chance to tell their stories and to have those records stored as archives in the libraries of Old Dominion University.  We appreciate your effort to collect, record, transcribe, and copy these living histories at each of the locations.  Hearing each one was a moving experience for me, and I was pleased to have shared my own experience knowing that it too will be stored for future generations.

These types of projects are especially meaningful for AARP members and our state office continues to be interested in programs which reach across boundaries in order to educate people of all ages.  We wish to offer congratulations and share that we would be interested in collaborating again.  Thank you for diligently working to make all the logistics fit together.  The results we’ve achieved could not have been done without your leadership and coordination.

If there is anything else AARP can do to further share with others the results we’ve demonstrated, please do not hesitate to ask.


Warren A. Stewart
State President