On Thursday night, Oct. 7, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners honored the life of Gladys Shipman who died recently. 

Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston – a personal friend of Shipman – called her a “great lady,” spoke about her life and asked for a moment of silence.

At the meeting, Alston also instructed staff to play a video of a resolution that was read and adopted by legislators in Washington DC recently after Shipman’s death. 

Like the resolution read by the county commissioners on Oct. 7 in the Old Guilford County Court House, that federal resolution addressed Shipman’s life and her many contributions.

Alston presented the family with a framed copy of a resolution the board adopted, and Shipman’s family members offered some emotional words of praise for the woman who’d been such a big influence on them and Guilford County as a whole.

Shipman, 76 at the time of her passing, was a 1963  Dudley High School graduate.  She became the president, CEO and executive director of Shipman Family Home Care, Inc., which, she founded in 1987.

Shipman was honored as someone who fought passionately for civil rights and social justice in Guilford County and elsewhere. 

At the meeting, Alston spoke of her contributions as a founding member and longtime board member of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

She was also the first woman to serve as president of the Greensboro chapter of the NAACP.

The county’s resolution noted that Shipman “was passionate about providing quality homecare in North Carolina” and that she “worked tirelessly to make sure the lunch counter, where she protested segregation during the 1960 Sit-in Movement, would serve as a place for education and truth for generations to come.”

It also listed Shipman’s many awards for the way she fought to end racial discrimination, as well as her other contributions to the community.  Those accolades include receiving the North Carolina A&T University Hall of Fame Honorary Award of Excellence, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Award, the Civil Rights Advocacy Training Institute Medgar W. Evers Award and the McDonald’s African American Achievement Entrepreneur Award.

Shipman was also inducted into the Hall of Distinction at Dudley High School.

The motion adopted unanimously by the commissioners stated that the board “expresses its appreciation and admiration for the achievements and accomplishments of Mrs. Gladys Shipman and her many contributions to the Guilford County community, and extends its deepest condolences to the Shipman family, as she leaves behind a legacy of altruism and kindness; and will be deeply missed.”