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HDA Class of 2004

Barbara Bell Coleman

Social Activist

Newark College of Arts and Sciences 1974


Barbara Bell Coleman has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of children and the disenfranchised, particularly in her home state of New Jersey. She has built a career of playing important behind-the-scenes roles in effecting systemic change. Early on, she served as chief of prevention services for the state's Division of Narcotic and Drug Abuse Control. In 1982, she began a 10-year commitment as president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newark, coordinating development programs for 5,000 youngsters. In 1992, she began five years of service as president of the Amelior Foundation, where she was on the leading edge of every inner-city initiative in the state. In addition, she has been a minority recruitment and retention consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and does private consulting. She also served Governor James E. McGreevey as vice chair of the School Construction Corporation, overseeing an $8 billion effort for districts with the greatest needs. A dedicated volunteer, such organizations as the New Jersey Center for the Performing Arts, the Association for Children of New Jersey, and countless others have benefited from her wisdom, compassion, and boundless energy.


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