ALEXANDRIA -- Memorial services for educator, philanthropist and social justice advocate Joanne Lyles White will be held Saturday. She died March 9.
She was a founding member of the Shepherd Center, a founder and first President of the Louisiana High School Speech League and Tournament of Champions, a founding member of Hope House, Christmas Cheer for Children, the Care for Share Tutoring Program, Angel Care, the Wally White Lecture Series, Rapides Parish Chapter of the Habitat for Humanity, past President of the Louisiana Speech Association, an Executive Committeewoman of the Job Training Partnership Act State Council, the Chair of the State Committee on Illiteracy and Education, the Chair of the Rapides Parish Workforce Investment Board, and a founding member of the Central Louisiana Food Bank.
Mrs. White was the recipient of the National Association of Social Worker’s Public Citizen of the Year Award, the Lions Club’s Outstanding Citizen Award, the Louisiana Methodist Church’s Children and Families Service Award, the Young Women’s Christian Association’s Outstanding Community Leader Award, the Zeta Phi Beta’s Outstanding Community Leadership Award, the Sojourner Truth Award, the Central Louisiana Professional Women’s Network’s Visionary Award, and Cenla Focus’s Cenla-ian of the Year.
Mrs. White worked with the Governor’s Office and the Department of Corrections, spearheading and chairing a task force that investigated disparities in the treatment of incarcerated women and juveniles.
She championed the creation of Aiken Optional School in Rapides Parish, and she helped create the Kuumba Center, an inner-city educational and recreational institution.
While in college, Mrs. White was a founding member and President of the LSU chapter of the Delta Gamma Sorority.
In 1999, Mrs. White earned a certification from the Summer Leadership Institute at Harvard University’s School of Divinity.
Survivors include her husband Paul White, Sr., two sons and two daughters.
Arrangements are by Hixson Bros.