Sarah Keys Evans Inclusive Public Art Project

Presented by Eastern Carolina Christian College & Seminary

Why Sarah Keys Evans

In 1952, Sarah Keys Evans boarded a charter bus in Trenton, New Jersey for Washington, North Carolina to visit her family during her leave from Fort Dix. It was during a stop in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, that Sarah Keys Evans was faced with a choice: to move for a white passenger or to take a stand against systemic racism and segregation.

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…to my suprise, when I got to Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina,there was a big problem…”

Les Atkins, Roanoke Valley videographer, sat down with the trailblazer, Sarah Keys Evans, in an interview. Click below to experience her remarkable story.

Watch Interview

The Sarah Keys Evans Inclusive Art Project

Eastern Carolina Christian College & Seminary was awarded the Z. Reynolds Smith Foundation Grant to bring awareness of Sarah Keys Evans’ legacy throughout the Roanoke Valley community.


Community & Partnership

Eastern Carolina Christian College & Seminary will partner with Roanoke Valley organizations  and leaders such as the RV Southern Chrisitan Leadership Conference, on the Sarah Keys Evans Inclusive Art Project. 

Outreach & Engagement

Eastern Carolina Christian College & Seminary, along with our partners, are committed to utilzing the Sarah Keys Evans Inclusive Art Project to create sessions and opportunties to enagage with the local community.

Inclusive Public Art

The Z. Reynolds Smith Foundation believes that art brings people together and promotes inclusion and diversity within communities. It is with this grant, we are able to create a timeless installation of art that all can enjoy.

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Dr. Charles E. McCollum

Dr. Charles E. McCollum is the chairperson of the Sarah Keys Evans Inclusive Public Art Project. Dr. McCollum and the Sarah Keys Evans team work together to highlight the contribution of Sarah Keys Evans, whose story has not been, or not often been told; especially in Roanoke Rapids, NC where it unfolded.

As pastor, educator, author, civil rights advocate and leader, Dr. McCollum has exemplified outstanding humanitarian service throughout the world. Among his many accomplishments, Dr. McCollum co-founded the Roanoke Valley Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Eastern Carolina Christian College & Seminary (ECCC&S) in 1991 where he presently serves as Chancellor.

Working together 
to tell the untold story of a true trailblazer.

Eastern Carolina Christian College and Seminary and other community organizations have partnered together with local Enfield, NC artist, Napoleon Hill to honor this history. The proposed artwork, themed “Closing the Circle,” will tell this important, yet under told story located in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, an active community space in Roanoke Rapids.                                  

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The Sarah Keys Evans Team

Mrs. Ophelia Gould-Faison

Mrs. Ophelia Gould-Faison is a lifelong resident of Littleton, NC, alumna of North Carolina Central University of Durham, NC, and a retired educator from the Halifax County Public School District of Halifax, NC.

Mrs. Gould-Faison holds membership with the Oak Grove Baptist Church in Littleton, NC, a “Silver Star” Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Kappa Iota Omega Chapter, Charter Member and Chair of Roanoke Valley(NC) Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Charter Member and Board Secretary of the Ella Baker Educational Project of N.C., and Halifax County Branch of NAACP.

Mrs. Gould-Faison’s recognition and community awards include 2005-2006
Teacher of The Year at McIver Elementary School, 2017 Local African-American
Hero Award/Halifax Community College Weldon, NC, and 2019 Hidden Figure/
Kappa Iota Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Mrs. Gould-Faison’s community service includes Chair of MLK National Holiday
Celebration sponsored by Oak Grove Baptist Church Ministries/Littleton,
Organize Voter Education & Registration Forums in various Halifax County
Communities, Littleton #1 Precinct Chair for the Democratic Party and serves as
a Littleton Town Commissioner. Her favorite quote is from Rev. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. is: “What are you doing for others?”

Dr. Ervin Griffin, Sr. 

Dr. Ervin V. Griffin, Sr. is President Emeritus of the Halifax Community  College (HCC) Weldon, NC and was
the first African American to serve as President/CEO. His career in higher education spans over 40 years and
includes roles as Director of Financial Aid, Director of Counseling, Vice President of Student Affairs, Provost Chief Operating Officer Director, and the first President of West Virginia State and Community and Technical College (now Bridge Valley Community and Technical College.) In several of those roles, President Griffin was the first African American to serve each institution with excellence.

During his tenure, Halifax Community College won the Southern Region Equity
Award and the Trustee of the Year Award, awarded to the Association of Community College Trustees in Washington, DC. Griffin was also very effective in resource development and grants management. HCC won over 15 million dollars in federal, state, local and foundation grants to promote student success and facility upgrades during his tenure at HCC. For his outstanding service to HCC and the communities it serves, the Board of Trustees renamed a campus building the Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Centre to honor his legacy of leadership at the institution. Dr. Griffin attributes his success to his faith, his parents, and his community.Dr. Griffin attributes his success to his faith, his parents, and his community.

Dr. Georgette Kimball

Dr. Georgette Brown Kimball is a lifelong resident, educator, community and civic leader of Halifax County, North Carolina. She served as an educator and administrator for 41 years serving in Halifax and Northampton County Schools, Weldon City Schools, and KIPP ENC.

Being an Ambassador for education, she established the Brown-Kimball Education Scholarship Foundation in 2015 for eligible students
attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCUs). She is also the Founder and Founding President of the Roanoke Valley HBCU Collaborative Association, Inc.

Dr. Kimball is also the President of the Halifax-Northampton NC A&T State University Alumni Association and Immediate Past President of the Kappa Iota Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Littleton, NC, where she served as the Youth Leader for over 25 years.

Dr. Kimball has thoroughly enjoyed serving as a member of the Sarah Keys Evans Project Planning Committee. She
looks forward to the unveiling of the historic Art Project entitle, “Closing the Circle.” It has been her pleasure learning about this Hidden Figure- Sarah Keys Evans, meeting community partners, developing plans for the Inclusive Art Project, and consequently establishing a historic monument to be recognized nationwide for the “Trailblazer” Sarah Keys Evans.

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