Dr. Roosevelt Thomas is the third from the right. Date: 1999 or 2000 at one of our meetings in Northern California
A Tribute To Diversity Pioneer The Late Dr. Roosevelt Thomas
1944 - 2013
by Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA, CDMP
In the early 1990s when I was building my business and my diversity practice, I was invited to join a newly formed group called the Diversity Collegium. Co-founded by Dr. Price Cobbs, Dr. Roosevelt Thomas and other practitioners in 1991, the group put aside its competitiveness and banded together to advance the cause of diversity. I was in the second round of consultants invited to join the group. And meeting and working with Roosevelt, Price and the others significantly impacted my business and reinforced my commitment to the field. It also reaffirmed my belief and commitment to collaborating with others and coalition building.
I stayed in the Collegium until 2002, but always respected my colleagues, especially the insightful wisdom of Roosevelt Thomas. He was a quiet gentle giant, steadily pushing diversity in a forward direction. His 1990 article “From Affirmative Action to Affirming Diversity” was the mainstay of every diversity practitioner I knew. And the books he wrote formed the backdrop of the business case for diversity.
He was respected around the world and loved for his wise counsel and wisdom. Last week after exercising in his home, he fell, hit his head and never regained consciousness. His death was swift and sudden. Today what would have been his 69th birthday was a somber and stately funeral at Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta. Left behind to mourn are his wife Judge Ruby Thomas, their children, grand child, extended family and the entire world of diversity and inclusion indebted to his contribution to the field.
Click Here To Download The Official Press Release Issued By The Diversity Collegium.
And please visit www.diversitycollegium.org for more information about the wonderful organization I called home for many years.
Roosevelt Thomas will be missed by all of us, but never forgotten. My thoughts and prayers go with his beloved wife, Rudy, children, grandchild, and extended family members.
We are all so blessed to have known him. His contributions to our global society will be felt for generations to come.
-Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA, CDMP
Click Here To Read The Diversity Collegium Press Release About The Death Of Dr. Roosevelt Thomas
Your Comments Or Reflections About Dr. Roosevelt Thomas Are Welcome