Kathleen C. Wright Foundation, Inc. at a Glance
A Legacy of Leadership
Dr. Kathleen C. Wright was an extraordinary citizen of Broward County, Florida and a public servant who left a lasting legacy of leadership and service to the community she loved.
A quiet, modest, yet dynamic personality, Kathleen Laurel Cooper, was the ninth of eleven children born to Sam and Kathleen Cooper of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on December 31, 1935. She attended Dillard Elementary and High School in Fort Lauderdale. She was valedictorian of Dillard High School’s 1953 graduating class.
Kathleen married her childhood sweetheart, Broward County Judge (Retired) Zebedee Wright, in 1953 and subsequently, they had three children: two sons – Ronald and Anthony, and one daughter, Laureatte.
In 1958, after earning her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with an emphasis in History at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU), she returned to Dillard High School where she taught for 16 years. While teaching, she earned a Master’s Degree from FAMU and a Doctorate in Education from Florida Atlantic University.
In 1974, Dr. Wright became a candidate for a seat on The School Board of Broward County. She successfully challenged the incumbent and became the first Black woman to win a county-wide election in the State of Florida as well as the first Black Broward County School Board member. Subsequently, she served as Vice Chairman of the School Board. She was committed to providing a quality education to all Broward County students and served two, four-year terms (1974 – 1982).
Dr. Wright always urged people to get involved in their community and to work through the system to bring about the changes they felt were needed. She “practiced what she preached” and served in leadership positions in more than 30 different organizations including: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Fort Lauderdale Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, the Urban League of Broward County, the League of Women Voters, the Broward County Democratic Party, the NAACP and St. Christopher Episcopal Church, where she taught Bible classes.
Tragically, Mrs. Wright’s life ended on August 27, 1985, as a result of injuries sustained in the Delta Flight 191 airplane crash on August 2, 1985. She was traveling to Dallas, Texas to attend a Delta Sigma Theta Sorority national convention.
While she was only 49 years old at the time of her death, she had already established a legacy. She improved education, inspired activism, and brought new representation to Broward County’s Black community. She set a high standard for courage, vision, and leadership and inspired all who had the good fortune of knowing her. Her legacy will now continue through the Kathleen C. Wright Foundation, Inc. (KCW Foundation, Inc.)
“Honoring the Legacy …. Guiding Tomorrow’s Leaders.”
Making A Difference
College and Career Planning
The KCW Foundation, Inc. provides a college and career advising services platrform to help middle school students, high school students, and adults plan for their futures using the five (5) steps of the Career Planning Process:
Learning about themselves: interests, personality traits, a confidence of skills, work values
Choosing Career Options
Creating education plans
Preparing for Work
The KCW Foundation, Inc. offers a series of workshops designed to facilitate the College and Career Planning Steps. Other seminars include: How to Choose a College/Vocational School, How to Pay for College, Mastering The College Admissions Process, The Foundation for Success, and Community Service & Leadership.