On behalf of the EVOLVE Magazines Florida Team, we want to share our collective honor in publishing this special edition of EVOLVE – The Pride of Florida. Every member of our EVOLVE team contributed to this effort because we had a shared passion for what this edition is about – celebrating Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, an exceptional American and the placement of her statue at Statuary Hall!

When we began to think through how we wanted to contribute to this historic occasion, we had a much narrower scope in mind––a special edition of EVOLVE, targeted to our subscribers, advertisers and to African American communities and churches in Flagler and Volusia Counties. But John Guthrie, VP of Communications at Halifax Health, and a true partner, had a larger vision. John felt the occasion warranted a commemorative publication that would be distributed more widely when the statue was exhibited here in Florida. He introduced us to Nancy Lohman and as they say… the rest is history, or in this case it is literally in your hands.

At an EVOLVE team meeting we brainstormed a title for this publication. As part of that discussion, we explored why this publication was important. What resonated with all of us was the significance of this event––not just to Bethune-Cookman University staff, faculty, or alumni, not just to the Daytona Beach community or Volusia County but in fact to every Floridian and the nation. When we talk about the American spirit and resourcefulness, Mary McLeod Bethune embodies it. When we talk about driving change against overwhelming odds, we are talking about Mary McLeod Bethune. Her contributions are truly exceptional and a lesson to all of us even today. Clearly, she is The Pride of Florida!

This publication is not where you will learn all you need to know about Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. In fact, this issue is simply meant to commemorate this significant event, her statue being exhibited here in Florida and ultimately unveiled at the U.S. Capitol. But if you become as intrigued and inspired as we have, you may be compelled to learn more. Visit our website www.EvolveMagazinesFlorida.com/ThePrideofFlorida to find references and resources.

A special thank you to the Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Statuary Fund, Inc board, donors, supporters, co-hosts and others whose contributions have made this “Journey to the National Statuary Hall” a reality. We are proud to have been a part of the team.

Howard M. Holley
CEO & Publisher EVOLVE Magazine

Dr. Barbara C. Holley
President & Editor PARENT Magazine

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