The National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW) announced today that educator, community organizer and civil rights advocate A. Lois Keith will serve as the organization’s new chair of the Board of Directors, steering the NCNW’s vision in 2023.
The DeKalb County resident brings years of experience in leadership, advocacy, and education to guide the NCNW and ensure that the organization’s goals of promoting social justice, STEAM education, entrepreneurship, and health equity are further realized in the upcoming years, the organization’s news release states.
Immediate past President and Chair Johnnetta Betsch Cole praised Keith’s leadership and dedication to the NCNW.
“As the Chair of the Board of Directors of our beloved organization, Dr. Lois Keith will continue to be an exceptional NCNW leader. Over the course of her many years of service in NCNW, she has been known for solving problems and developing solutions collaboratively,” Cole said.
“She motivates others while always remaining humble about her own successes. Dr. Keith embraces the power of intergenerational efforts, and she has impeccable integrity. As Dr. Keith carries out her role as the Chair of NCNW’s Board, we can expect our organization to continue to move mightily onward. And it will!”
Past National President and Chair Ingrid Saunders Jones also commended Keith for her leadership.
“I’ve known Dr. Lois Keith professionally and personally for many years. Her work with and for NCNW has been a blessing to our beloved organization,” Jones said.
“Dr. Keith successfully answered the call to reimagine the NCNW membership process and she and Diane Larché joined together to carry that work to another level – including a focus on intergenerational outreach. Dr. Keith is the right person for this time and I thank her for all she has done and has yet to do for NCNW.”
Keith succeeds Thelma T. Daley, who led NCNW’s first hybrid convention in Washington, D.C. this past December. It was at this convention that Keith was nominated and elected chair
In 2016, Keith was elected as national vice president. She served as the national membership chair under Presidents Dorothy I. Height and Ingrid Saunders Jones.
In 2022, she was appointed to serve again as the national vice president. Keith was a member of the NCNW Transition Team and was a co-chair of the 60th Biennial National Convention. In addition, Keith served as executive member-at-large, member of the National Nominating Committee, member of the National Re-certification Committee, and National Assistant Secretary.
In the NCNW’s DeKalb Section, Keith serves as chair of the Leadership Committee. She has served as president, 1st vice president, 2nd vice president, secretary, and assistant secretary of the DeKalb Section and is a charter member of the DeKalb Pacesetters Life Guild.
In addition to her service at the NCNW, Keith is also a champion for equitable education. She is a graduate of Alabama A&M University, where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education with a major in Mathematics and a minor in General Science. She received her Master’s in Middle School Education from Georgia State University and she also studied at Mercer University. She was a teacher with the Henry County School System for 30 years, in addition to serving as the Math Department Chair and Beta Club sponsor. Her many accolades include Teacher of the Year 1991-92 and 2000-2001, nomination to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and recipient of the Principal’s Award 1995-1996.
Over the course of her expansive work in community service and education, Keith has received several other honors including a proclamation from the State of Georgia for her service to NCNW and the community.
In 2014, Keith served as the keynote speaker at the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Dorothy I. Height Elementary School in the state of Georgia. In 2014, the DeKalb Section honored Keith as the first recipient of the Lois Keith Trailblazer Award for Exemplary Community Service. The DeKalb Section also presented her the Living the Legacy Award in 2014.
In 2018, Keith received an honorary doctorate degree from American Bible University. In 2020, she received the Vanguard Award of Excellence in Leadership from the National Women of Achievement, Inc. and in 2021, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Real Women Atlanta magazine.
Keith is a member of the Georgia and Henry County Retired Educators Association where she served as President. She is a chartered member of the East Metro Orchids, and is currently serving as 2nd vice president. She is a member of Xi Beta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., where she serves as chaplain.
Keith is a chartered member of the NewRock Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction where she served as the chartering secretary, and she served as the Area IV NCNW Chair.
Keith is an active member of the Move of God Church in Atlanta. Keith and her late husband, Lonnie, were married for 49 years. They enjoyed traveling and visited seven of the eight continents. They have one son, Darius.
“My husband supported me in every way possible, and he was my greatest cheerleader. He would be so proud of me,” Keith said.