Katherine T. “Kathy” Egland faced segregation with defiance at a young age in her birthplace in the Deep South of Mississippi. Her NAACP involvement began at an early age with her active role in the Hattiesburg (Forrest County) Youth NAACP.
Shattered by the senseless murders of Medgar Evers and Vernon Dahmer as a young teen, she vowed to never forget that they gave their lives for her freedom. Marching, picketing, boycott monitoring and fielding deadly threats were routine throughout her youth and young adulthood.
In 1967, Katherine was one of the first Black students to desegregate the Hattiesburg Public High School under the Federal School Choice Act. She and others carefully documented the overwhelming inequalities of the ‘separate but equal’ system, which eventually led to a federal court desegregation order.
She has held almost every position at NAACP Youth Council, Branch and State levels. During her presidency of the Gulfport, Mississippi Branch, membership and fundraising increased ten fold. Her branch was also awarded two first places and one second place coveted Thalheimer Awards in consecutive ascending membership categories.
Kathy was elected to the NAACP Special Contribution Fund (SCF) in 1988. After the untimely 1997 death of Dr. Aaron Henry, the Mississippi State Conference voted unanimously to support her bid to fill his vacant at‐large seat. She was nominated by the National Nominating Committee in 1997 and elected to National Board in 1998.
NAACP Board/SCF committee assignments have included the Executive Committee, Chair of Personnel Committee, Co‐Chair of Criminal Justice Committee, Budget Committee (Investment Subcommittee), Image Awards, Economic Development, Federal Sector Task Force, Election Supervisory and Advocacy and Policy Committee.
She was among the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Mississippi’s official sanction of the Confederate flag and continues to denounce it as well as other racial injustices in frequently published commentaries.
An avid advocate for educational parity and business ownership, Egland researched, developed and founded Special Programs for Advancing Children’s Education (SPACE) Learning Academy of Gulfport, MS in 1979. SPACE is a widely acclaimed early educational curriculum which challenges students of all backgrounds to achieve their highest level of excellence.
Egland is a certified Family Life Therapist by the American Guidance Council. She is also a trainer/consultant for the Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (S.T.E.P.) Series.
She is a member of a host of other professional and activist organizations and has received numerous honors and awards. She is a devoted and active member of St. James Catholic Church.