Please join the Defender in welcoming Carolyn Griffin Palmer, our new society columnist. Carolyn’s column will appear twice a month and she will report on star-studded events and philanthropic work, as well as keep us posted on the happenings around the city. Her column will be named CD Around Town.

Teacher, coach and administrator are a few of the titles that Carolyn held during her stellar career in the Chicago Public Schools system. She is also known as everyone’s favorite Mistress of Ceremonies, fashion show commentator and “comedienne.”

Carolyn is a proud graduate of Jackson State University ’72, with a major in Health, Recreation and Physical Education, and Roosevelt University, where she earned an M.A. in Education and Supervision. While at JSU, she served as captain of the basketball cheerleader team, and was Ms. “J” Club and Ms. Kappa Alpha Psi. Carolyn was also crowned “Ms. Centennial Football.”

Respected for her dynamic cheerleading teams, she has won numerous city, state and national championships and placed 2nd in the World Competition. She has been featured in Jet Magazine twice, the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune Newspapers. Carolyn was also featured as “Someone You Should Know” on WBBM TV.

Carolyn is especially proud of her one year old 501c3 Non Profit “Carolyn’s Kids Foundation” whose mission is to meet the financial and supplementary needs of elementary aged students in high poverty school communities. These students will be provided with workshops and activities that will enhance their academic, social and emotional growth the foundation way of “Helping Children Move Right Along.”

Carolyn is a Life Member of Jackson State University Alumni Association and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. She is co-founder of “RIM” Retirees In Motion and a Trophy Board Member of the Society of Mannequins, Best Dressed African American Women. She has received many awards, among them 2011 Women of Excellence, Chicago Defender; Lifetime Achievement Award, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.; Black Women Hall of Fame; USCA Cheer Hall of Fame; National Women of Achievement, Profiles of Prominence.

Carolyn has been married for 44 years to another Jacksonian, Isaac Lavelle, and has two daughters, LaCael Palmer Pratt (Alex) and Karilyn Palmer Paschal (Christopher); three grandsons, Alexander, Xavier and Christopher “C.J.” and a granddaughter, Kailyn Dior.

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