Resolution from James B. Dudley High School Alumni Association

The words of the hymn entitled, “May the Work I’ve Done Speak For Me” provide an apt description of the life, labor and legacy of Mrs. Nettie Lewis Coad.  As God, in His infinite wisdom, has seen fit to call from labor to reward our beloved Mrs. Nettie Coad, the alumni of James Benson Dudley High School offer this resolution:

Whereas, Mrs. Nettie Lewis Coad, having been a graduate of James B. Dudley High School, class of 1953;

Whereas, she gave valuable service to the alumni organization while serving as the National Vice-President from 2009-2011;

Whereas, Mrs. Coad personified the alumni pledge to give unselfish service to mankind through the multitude of her civic and community activities.  She was an advocate for neighborhoods and  for social justice;

Whereas, Mrs. Coad was ‘a resounding voice’ for the voiceless as she participated in the search for solutions to the many problems that plagued our society;

Whereas, Mrs. Coad was known among the alumnae as a peacemaker; always ready with an encouraging word and a desire to work together for the greater good;
Therefore, be it resolved that the alumnae of the James B. Dudley High School salute this ‘fallen Dudley panther’ as we yield to the providence of God. 
May God shower The Coad Family with His comfort, His strength, and His eternal hope.
Respectfully submitted,
The James B. Dudley High School Alumni Association, Inc.
On the 14th day of April 2012
                                                         Richard Bowling, National President              Rev. Laverne Carter, National Chaplain

Remembering Nettie Coad


“I do this work because it gives me life and it gives me hope when people see a new perspective, a new way of seeing the world. Then they can be connected to a broader understanding of their community. The most important aspect is that it does not stay with me, it is shared. This nourishes me and gives me the energy to do more. The relationships, understanding and alliances that are formed out of these workshops are what social change is all about.” – Nettie Coad

Ole Asheboro Neighborhood Association


Nettie was a longtime activist in the Ole Asheboro Community.  She served eight (8) terms as the president of the Ole Asheboro Neighborhood Association.

1997 – Levi Coffin Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Field of Human Relations & Human Rights


Levi Coffin was born in the Guilford County Quaker community of New Garden on October 28, 1789. As an opponent to slavery, he joined Guilford County’s first manumission society. Together with his cousin Vestal Coffin, he began a school for slaves, teaching them about Christianity and Bible reading on Sunday afternoons. Slave masters soon came to oppose this and forbade their slaves to attend.

     He and his wife moved to Newport, now known as Fountain City, and realized that they were on a route of the Underground Railroad, through which slaves escaping to freedom passed. Coffin and his wife joined the movement and made their house a “station” to shelter runaways and provide safe passage into Canada. During the twenty years they lived in Newport, the Coffins helped 2,000 slaves escape to safety. One of those was the slave “Eliza,” depicted by Harriet Beecher Stowe in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Not one of the slaves who passed through the Coffin house failed to reach freedom.

2008 – Co-Presenter at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting


Yonas M, Eng E, Hardy C, Mohottige D, Coad N, Jones N, Schaal J, Amell J, Aronson R, and White B. “Cancer Care and Racial Equity Study (CCARES): An innovative community and academic model for investigating disparities in systems of breast cancer care.” American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. October 25-29, 2008, San Diego, CA

The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world.

2012 School of Health and Human Sciences Alumni Awards – Public Service


From the awards program:

Nettie Coad was a Greensboro native. She was involved in community organizations for over 30 years. In 1994 Nettie was hired by The Partnership Project as a community organizer. At the time of her death, she was the executive director. The project’s mission is to undo racism in Greensboro by working with groups to help them to achieve their goals of social justice. She created the Greensboro Health Disparities Collaborative, a group that represents 28 community leaders, advocates, public health professionals, university faculty and staff, clergy and other members of the Greensboro community. Nettie will be a “Community Engagement Model” for our School for years to come. Year after year, our PHE students voted her their favorite and best guest lecturer because of how she challenged them to look at their beliefs and to voice them in an atmosphere of support and respect. Nettie passed April 10, 2012, after following a battle with cancer, just four days before she was to receive this award. She was nominated by Bob Aronson in the Department of Public Health Education.

1990 – Prevented Widening of MLK Drive

In 1990, using fact based information and group collaboration Nettie worked with in her neighborhood, using the city’s Model Transportation Study, to influence City Councils decision not to widen Martin Luther King Dr.  This was recounted at an April 2009 City Council meeting:

“I’ve known you long enough to know you mean business when you come on down here,” Robbie Perkins said to Nettie Coad. “What I want to do is drill down on why you’re here, and look at alternatives, and direct staff, as opposed to just saying, ‘Thank you for being here.’ What I’d like to do is gain for council a historical perspective.”

Perkins recalled that council had considered widening Martin Luther King Drive to five lanes in the early 1990s. To which Coad replied, “And we wouldn’t let you.”

Mayor Perkins would also recall the fight to prevent the widening of MLK during his remarks at Nettie’s homegoing service.

1953 – James Benson Dudley High School


Nettie was a member of the Class of 1953.  She volunteered frequently at the school over the years and served as the Vice-President of the National Alumni Association.

1962 – Founding Member – St. Paul Baptist Church


Nettie was a founding member of Saint Paul Baptist Church, now located at 1309 Larkin Street in Greensboro.  She served in various capacities including church secretary, choir member, missionary, ward member, scout leader and most recently on the anniversary planning committee.


2000 Nancy Susan Reynolds Award Recipient (w/ Suzanne Plihcik)


From the Z. Smith Foundation 2000 Annual Report:

“Nettie Coad and Suzanne Plihcik – one black, one white; one a product of the segregated South, one who has lived a privileged life – spend their days talking to groups of students, police, executives, ministers, and anyone else who will listen. Working together, Coad and Plihcik help individuals understand the roots of racism and then move beyond it. They are best friends, and each one’s talents, background, and experiences complement the other as they fight ingrained, but often unconscious, racism.”