Having accrued numerous years as a teacher on behalf of Louisiana schools, Sybil H. Morial garnered a laudable reputation as the vice president of external affairs at Xavier University. She later founded the Louisiana League of Good Government, a non-partisan, interracial woman’s organization devoted to civil liberties and full participation in government for all Louisiana citizens. The organization notably focused on assisting African-Americans register to vote in Louisiana. Throughout her career, Ms. Morial remained active in many community organizations, serving as a catalyst for educational programs focused on civil rights.
Prior to embarking upon his professional journey, Ms. Morial earned a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Education from Boston University. In addition to her primary roles, she was also prolifically active in local government. Her late husband, Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial, ran for and was elected to the Louisiana State Legislature, and eventually to the Mayor’s Office of New Orleans. He was the first African American man to hold both offices. Additionally, Ms. Morial’s oldest son, Marc, is now the president of the National Urban League and also served two terms as the mayor of New Orleans.
As an accomplished professional, Ms. Morial has received much recognition throughout her career. She is the recipient of the Martin Luther King Lifetime Achievement Award, the Women of Power Award from the National Urban League, the ALIOT (A Legend in Her Own Time) Award from the Faulkner Society, the New Orleans Legend Award from the City of New Orleans and the Louisiana Legend Award from Louisiana Public Television. In 2014, Ms. Morial was also bestowed with an honorary LHD from Xavier University.
Ms. Morial’s inspiring life story is chronicled in her memoir, “Witness to Change: From Jim Crow to Political Empowerment.” The book was published in 2015, and she has since presented and spoke at several universities and graduate seminars at Tulane University. She was most proud to launch the hard cover of her book at the New Orleans Museum of Art, which was a segregated institution when she was a child. Moreover, she held her paperback release at the Whitney Plantation in a restored church, where slaves used to worship.