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In Loving Memory of Dr. Rose Duhon-Sells, 1941-2024

It is with great sadness that the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) shares the passing of its founder, Dr. Rose Duhon-Sells. Dr. Duhon-Sells, 83, was often called “the mother of NAME.” She died Monday, April 8 at her home in Lake Charles, LA. NAME was founded in 1990 at a meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators’ Multicultural Education Special Interest Group. Dr. Duhon-Sells challenged those in attendance to create NAME. In her own words, Dr. Duhon-Sells stated: "Thirty years ago I had an idea, but no money. But because of my drive, determination and commitment to create an organization where people may have a forum to exchange ideas and learn about multicultural education, I didn’t let that stop me. As a single parent, I used my credit card with a $5,000 limit and charged $20,000. Through the grace of God and help of G. Pritchy Smith we had our first conference, which was very successful. The amazing thing was that after that first successful conference everything started coming together. The founding members joined forces. We built strong relationships, contributing, supporting and building the organization. To this day this organization functions on the contributions of many outstanding hardworking volunteers." NAME today boasts 1,500 members throughout the United States and worldwide. They include educators from preschool through higher education, activists, business people and community leaders. Dr. Duhon-Sells added: Founding the National Association for Multicultural Education has been one of the highlights of my life. I often think God selected me to give (life to) this incredible idea and used me to embrace the goodness, generosity, love and support of many to make it a reality. It was through Dr. Duhon-Sells’ efforts that NAME members are united in their dedication to diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging. They are among the world’s leading proponents in equity and social justice. Dr. Duhon-Sells shared: "My vision for the future of this great organization is to see our members’ research and activism improve the quality of education for all school-age children across the globe, by helping all educators to teach from a multicultural prospective. I pray that we continue our strong commitment to research, networking and providing needed assistance to new/young upcoming educators, ensuring they are strong multicultural education leaders of tomorrow. I envision NAME and its leaders being recognized internationally as THE clearinghouse for knowledge and wisdom on multicultural education. Together we will improve education for all!" Dr. Duhon-Sells was born Rose Marie Duhon to Mr. & Mrs. O’neil and Alice Green Duplichain in Church Point, LA. She was the fourth of four daughters and was much loved by her family. She married Patrick C. Duhon in 1957 and had five children. Dr. Duhon-Sells received her GED from St. Landry Parish School Board and volunteered with the Head Start program in Opelousas, LA. She went on to earn a BS degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette in 1971. She taught kindergarten for seven years at Grolee Elementary School in Opelousas and she said it was the best time of her life. She became a supervising teacher for student teachers from Southern University and University at Louisiana at Lafayette. She went on to earn a M.ED in Guidance and Counseling at Southern University at Baton Rouge, LA, plus 30 hours in Administration. She also earned a Ph.D. in Education from Union Institute and University in 1980 and started her career in higher education at McNeese State University. During her 18-year career at McNeese, she was the first African-American professor to earn tenure and become a full professor. Later in her career, she was asked to return to McNeese and become a Distinguished Professor. Dr. Duhon-Sells was an administrator at several universities. She was Dean of the College of Education at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA; Academic Vice President at Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, OH; and Vice Chancellor at Southern University in New Orleans, LA. She has written and edited more than 30 books and 38 articles on such topics as elementary education, early childhood education, peace education, multicultural education and conflict resolution. She has presented her research locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. She has traveled to more than 30 countries and spoken to thousands of people about the need for change in the educational system and reaching and teaching all children. She founded Duplichain University, an online graduate and undergraduate university, which was nationally and internationally accredited. More than 30 graduate students received their doctoral degrees and more than 20 students received their masters’ degrees from that university. Many HeadStart employees with associate degrees received their bachelors’ degrees from Duplichain University. Dr. Duhon-Sells along with the university board members assisted the HeadStart students with financial aid and all HeadStart employees in the program graduated debt-free. Dr. Duhon-Sells was a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and has made many friends, professional contacts and mentees. She started the Sisters Surviving, Inc., which is a breast cancer support group that has been active for more than 25 years, and it has helped hundreds of women and men who were struggling to regain their lives after a diagnosis of cancer. She was the first African-American president of the Association of Teacher Educators, which serves to increase the body of knowledge for teacher educators and increase the level of professionalism for preservice teachers coming into the field of education. In addition to NAME, Dr. Duhon-Sells also started the National Association for Peace Education and Anti-Violence, which serves to reduce conflict in the classroom and teach children and educators how to create safe classrooms and school environments. Dr. Duhon-Sells is preceded in death by her parents, Mr. & Mrs. O’neil and Alice Duplichain; her first husband, Patrick C. Duhon; her second husband, Dr. Halloway Sells; her son, Gregory Duhon; her oldest sister, Youramae Kennerson, and her grandson, Donovan Duhon. She has four children, Dr. Alice Duhon-Ross; Dr. Gwendolyn Duhon, Dr. Glendolyn Duhon, Patrick C. Duhon, Jr. and his partner, Kendra Williams. She has two sisters, Dr. Mary Addison (Joseph); and Mrs. Theresa Savoie (Francis). She had six grandchildren, Mrs. Grace Haynes McVea (Norris), Mrs. Whitney Taylor (Ian), Britney Duhon, Charles P. Viney (LaShawn), Jordan Jeanlouis (Lacey), Mrs. Allison Lara (Jose); and Patrick C. Duhon, III. She has 10 great-grandchildren and hosts of nieces, nephews, and friends. Visitation was held on April 12-13 in the Johnson Funeral Home Chapel, Lake Charles, LA. Msgr. A mass and service were held April13. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to: Donations to NAME's Rose Duhon-Sells Scholarship Fund can also be made. Visit the Donate page. For the Family's Rememebrance and Photos visit: