Dr. Julius Wayne Dudley, a HistoryMaker, is the recipient of the 2018 Michael Shinagel Award of Service, given by the Harvard University Extension School. This award recognizes a graduate of the school who has made significant contribution in the service for others. Along with Dr. Dudley’s contributions in civil rights, the award committee noted his long-standing commitment to education and literacy for all and his promotion of health and health education, both locally and internationally.
Dr. Dudley’s life’s work spans from Georgia to Boston, South Africa to Ethiopia, and Angola to Ghana. Born in 1944 in Atlanta, Georgia, he attended Morris Brown College in Atlanta and completed graduate and doctorate work at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta), Harvard University and the University of Cincinnati. A historian and social activist, Dr. Dudley marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and has been active in the voter registration movement since the 1960’s. “We have made a lot of progress as a nation, but we are not there yet,” said Dr. Dudley, recalling an oft-heard saying from Congressman John Lewis, who is the principal speaker at Harvard University’s commencement on May 24, during which time Dr. Dudley will meet with him again.
Over the years, the two of them, and others such as Hosea Williams, marched together promoting civil rights and equal protection for all Americans.
Through collaborations with Salem State University, where he is a Professor Emeritus of history, and other organizations, as well as national and world leaders including Joseph Kennedy II, Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, Dr. Dudley shipped millions of books to students in Africa. In addition, the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health donated thousands of books which were a part of these donations to the continent. Additionally also, he has been a guest speaker for Harvard Medical students and other groups in the community.
In Boston, Dr. Dudley has been a longtime client and supporter of The Family Van, the Harvard Medical School- affiliated mobile health clinic that offers preventative services and outreach in under served neighborhoods. Dr. Dudley first visited The Family Van about 10 years ago. Citing the friendly and professional care he received, he began returning frequently to get his blood pressure and blood glucose checked, and to enjoy rapport with the staff and volunteers. In both the written and visual, he urges friends and neighbors to visit The Family Van and take charge of their health. Dr. Dudley considers health as the work of the community and an inherent human right. Invoking the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Dudley feels that the essence of greatness is in service to others.
Dr. Dudley will have received the 2018 Michael Shinagel Award for Service at the Harvard Extension School Alumni Commencement Reception and Alumni Banquet on Tuesday, May 22 and on Thursday, May 24th, Congressman John Lewis will be awarded the Honorary Doctoral at the University’s 367th Commencement, during which all of the graduates of the 12 academic schools will listen to his presentation and Dudley will look forward to seeing him again at the event.