ASALH’s Centennial Rays of Light Honorees awarded at ASALH’s Centennial Anniversary in 2015 for their significant work in upholding and continuing the legacy of our Founder, Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson.


1. Senghor Baye, 10th President, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) 

2. Anthony Browder, ASA Restoration Project 

3. Lonnie Bunch, Director, National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) 

4. Charlie F. Bolden, Jr., Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) 

5. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Director, National Museum of African Art 

6. Paul Coates, Founder, Black Classic Press 

7. John Whittington Franklin, Senior Manager, Office of Deputy Director, NMAAHC, Smithsonian 

8. Dick Gregory, Civil Rights Activist 

9. Asa Hilliard III, Posthumous, Imhotep the Multi Genius 

10. Patsy Hilliard, Former Mayor, Atlanta, GA 

11. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, President, The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) 

12. Cathy Hughes, Founder and CEO, “Radio One/TV One“ 

13. Leonard Jeffries, International Executive Director of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (O.A.A.U.) and founding Director and former Vice-President and President of Association for the Study of Classical African civilizations (ASCAC) 

14. Harriett G. Jenkins, Former Assistant Administrator, Office of Equal Opportunity Program, NASA 

15. Ted Kennedy, Posthumous, Sponsor of the Serve America Act 

16. James Loewen, American sociologist, historian, and author, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong 

17. Joe Madison, The Black Eagle, SiriusXM Urban View 

18. Bette McLeod, Former Educator, Prince George’s County Maryland 

19. Robert “Bob” Moses, Founder and President, The Algebra Project 

20. Rodney Orr, Missionary with Campus Crusade for Christ and Founder,, African Leadership and Management Academy, Harare, Zimbabwe 

21. Jonathan Pourzal, Historian, Grandson of Benjamin Quarles 

22. Anthony Robinson, President, Minority Business Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MBELDEF) founded by Parren Mitchell 

23. Louis Stokes, Sponsor, Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Act 

24. Shelley Stokes-Hammond, Commissioner, MD Commission on African American History and Culture 

25. Mattie Taylor, President and CEO, Van McCoy Music; Member of the lst elected District of Columbia School Board from Ward 5 after Reconstruction (sworn in by Justice Thurgood Marshall) 

26. Davita Vance-Cooks, Agency Director, U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) 

27. Frances Cress Welsing, Psychiatrist, third generation medical doctor 

Honorable Mentions 

28. Ayanna Gregory, Artist, Songstress, Playwrite, Daughter of the Struggle (daughter of Dick Gregory ) 

29. Mike DeWine 30. Carol Moseley Braun 31. Robert Portman: All Co-Sponsors of the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Act with Congressman Louis Stokes, Ray of Light Honoree