This Black History Month, Riverside House celebrates the work and unwavering dedication of Dr. LaVon Bracy.
Dr. LaVon Bracy integrated the Alachua County, Florida school system, becoming the first African American to graduate from Gainesville High School in 1965. The product of a civil rights activist and a schoolteacher, LaVon is the proud daughter of the late Reverend Thomas A. Wright and Affie Mae Wright. She is the youngest of four children born to parents who, in their school-age days did not experience education in an integrated setting. These powerful community pillars wanted better opportunities for their children and fought, in and outside of the courtroom, to help bring to fruition the equality that was well deserved.
Beyond The Classroom
Beyond the challenge and victory of integrated Alachua County, LaVon continued her education at Fisk University, earning an undergraduate degree in Psychology. She matriculated to the University of Miami to begin her graduate studies, earning a Masters of Education Degree with an emphasis on College and Personnel Services. She then earned her Doctorate from the University of Florida in Higher Education Administration.
Having worked in private and public institutions, Dr. Bracy joined the staff at the University of Florida, Lake City Community College, Florida Junior College at Jacksonville, and the University of North Florida. After transitioning with her husband to Rochester, NY, and Philadelphia, she held leadership positions with the City of Philadelphia including Director of Personnel, Executive Assistant, and Assistant Managing Director.
Her next feat was a move back to her home state that would span 20-plus years and another tier of her legacy of service and trailblazing. Dr. LaVon Bracy is the co-founder of the New Covenant Baptist Church where she served for 20 years before retiring. During that time, she founded an elementary school (with an emphasis on performing arts), led community partnerships, and served as administrator while maintaining her political and social work.
It is Riverside House’s great privilege to be affiliated with this pillar of our shared community.