Bernice Smith White

Bernice Smith White (born 1924) is an American community worker, civic leader, and a leader for equal rights for women. She was educated in Baltimore City Public Schools and received her bachelor's degree in education from Coppin State College (formerly known as Coppin Teacher's College). She also studied political science, government, personnel management, behavioral aspects of management, labor relations, and equal opportunity at Morgan State University, the Community College of Baltimore, George Washington University, the University of Maryland, and Fisk University. She taught in the Baltimore school system for about 12 years. In the Baltimore Urban League she worked as a volunteer in programs to provide job opportunities for youths.[1]

Bernice Smith White
Born (1924-02-27) February 27, 1924
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
OccupationCommunity worker
Civic leader

She was the first Director of Community Education and Relations of the Baltimore City Community Relation Commission and interpreted the City's civil rights law for the public via radio, television, movies, print media, workshops, and conferences. She conducted a local radio program Radio WEBB. She also wrote a weekly column in the Baltimore Afro American called "It's Not A Man's World" from 1969-1974.[1]

She was the first woman Insurance Compliance Specialist for the Social Security Administration, traveling across the country to monitore affirmative action programs of government Medicare contractors to ensure equality of opportunity for minorities and women. In July, 1969, she was appointed one of only three full-time National Directors of the Federal Women's Program which was established under Executive Order of the President. She served as a consultant for the former U.S. Civil Service Commission and lectured locally and nationally at conferences, workshops, and schools.[1]

In October, 1972, she was promoted to the position of Community Relations Officer for the Social Security Administration and later named Chief of the Headquarters Coordination and Liaison Staff, Office of Governmental Affairs. This staff served as the primary source of advice and information regarding the public's position on SSA Entitlement Programs. She retired from the Social Security Administration in May 1984.[1]

Through her affiliation with the organization Woman Power she worked with women to make them more politically aware and informed on current issues. She initiated the move to have sex included in the Provisions of Acts of Discrimination in the City Civil Rights Ordinance No. 103. The amendment was passed in August 1971 and signed into law by the Mayor. She was the first African-American chair of the Baltimore City Commission for Women.[1]

She was appointed by former Governor Harry Hughes to serve on the Eastern Region Foster Care Review Board for Baltimore City. The Honorable Parris N. Glendening presented a Governor's Citation to her, acknowledging the Valued Hours Award she received from the Fullwood Foundation.[1] She was inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame in 1999;[2][3] she especially helped break barriers for women of color in the 1960s.[4]


  1. 01, Conference Room. "Bernice Smith White, Maryland Women's Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  2. "Bernice Smith White | Maryland Women's Heritage Center". Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  3. "HONORS AND AWARDS". Washington Post. 1999-02-11. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  4. Sun, Baltimore. "Women's liberation movement". Retrieved 2018-03-09.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.