The Bethune-DuBois Institute (BDI) was founded by the late Dr. C. DeLores Tucker.
It was named in memory of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of the National Council of Negro Women and Bethune-Cookman College and Dr. William W.E.B. DuBois, the first black Ph.D. graduate from Harvard University, a founder of the NAACP, a sociologist and visionary.
Our founder, C. DeLores Tucker was a national visionary. She was the first African American woman in the United States to be named Secretary of State serving the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 1971-1977. During her tenure, she encouraged the appointment of more women judges and African Americans to boards and commissions than ever in that state’s history. She further established statutes that would permit students to register and vote from their college districts.
Dr. Tucker was a renowned civil rights activist and politician who tirelessly served on behalf of historically-oppressed minorities and women.
After leaving her position in Pennsylvania State Government, she became the first African American to serve as President of the National Federation of Democratic Women.
After Martin Luther King’s assassination, Coretta Scott King asked Dr. Tucker to set up an affiliate of the King Center, which became the Martin Luther King Association for Nonviolence in Philadelphia. Mrs. King’s vision was to have the holiday commence each year at noon with the ringing of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia–a worldwide symbol of freedom, justice, and equality–echoed by bells throughout the world, including those in Big Ben in London and in the Vatican. Since then, every King Holiday commences with the ringing of the Liberty Bell at 12:00 noon at Independence Hall in memory of Dr. King, during a National Ceremony hosted by the King Association.
In 1984 Dr. Tucker chaired the Democratic National Committee’s Black Caucus. She was also the founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus.
To view the video of C. DeLores Tucker: Women’s Role in Organizations, open the YouTube video link –
In 1984, Dr. Tucker founded the Bethune-DuBois Institute to promote the cultural and educational development of African-American youth. During this time, Dr. Tucker began a crusade against “gangsta” rap. She rallied against record companies to halt the distribution of popular music that she believed contained derogatory lyrics about women and minorities and had a negative impact on youth.
In 1992, Dr. Tucker succeeded Shirley Chisholm as the national chair of the National Congress of Black Women and served in that role until her death in 2005.