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First Black Female Sworn into Luverne City Council

Submitted by Betty Dawson

Betty Dawson is a lifelong resident of Crenshaw County. She attended Woodford Avenue High School until integration in 1970. She transferred and graduated from Luverne High School Class of 1973. She Spent two years at LBW Community College and graduated 1975 with her AS Degree in secretary administration. She worked at Vanity Fair Mills, in Luverne until 1996. She attended Troy State University and graduated 1999 with a BS degree in social work. She then received her social work license from the Association of Social Work Boards in 2000.

Dawson worked at Barbour County DHR in Clayton and Wiregrass Hospice in Troy. Her role with these agencies taught her how to work with vulnerable children in the community and with family’s loss of a loved one. In 2001, Dawson went to work for the Butler County Dept. of Public Health in Greenville as a case manager. She was involved with the Butler County DHR’s Multi-Needs program and was secretary of the Healthy Kids program. Dawson was fortunate enough to work with county leaders and the Board of Education in programs to assist children with behaviors and social issues. At ADPH, she was trained and certified in family planning case management, elderly and disable waiver program, medically at risk children, patient first teen and adults care coordinator, mandated reporting, HIPAA compliance, ethic rules and policies, Butler county disaster relief/first responders, COVID-19 education and contact tracing, Dawson retired from ADPH in July 2020 with 18 years of service. 

Dawson is the widow of Jimmie Lewis Dawson. He was the first black sheriff deputy of Crenshaw county in 1977. They have two adult children and four grandchildren. Dawson has made history herself as the first black female to join the Luverne City Council. She is a member and historian of Allen Lilly 700 OES, a member of St. James Baptist church where she was secretary for 40 years. She is the head of the Seniors WeCare Ministry. 

Dawson stated she believes in “staying in your own lane”, do your job well, and do not interfere with your other team members positions, Dawson plans to learn her position, the constituents of District 1 and the various programs and activities of the city of Luverne. Councilman Charlie Johnson left big shoes to fill; she does not plan to fill his shoes but learn all she can from his examples while establishing her own role as council member.