Vivian Ayers-Allen

Vivian Ayers-Allen

Title: Founding Director
Company: Brainerd Institute
Location: Chester, South Carolina, United States

Vivian Ayers-Allen, Founding Director at the Brainerd Institute, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in poetry and education.

A renowned playwright, poet, publisher and director of the Brainerd Institute, Ms. Ayers-Allen has spent the duration of her career dedicated to the advancement of education for children. Established in 1866, the Brainerd Institute was founded subsequent to the Civil War to educate the children of freed slaves. A graduate of Brainerd’s final graduating class in 1939, Ms. Ayers-Allen sought to reinvent the historic institution, and her daughter, Tony award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad, purchased the property in 1999. The institute has been funded by ADEPT, a 501(c)(3) organization, to restore its brilliance as a cultural and educational center under the direction of Ms. Ayers-Allen and her two daughters.

Alongside her role as a cultural activist and educator, Ms. Ayers-Allen is a prominent poet, having authored “The Hawk: An Allegory of Freedom,” which was published 11 weeks before the first Sputnik satellite was launched. Acknowledged by NASA, she is the only poet whose work was read during a space mission in the 1960s. A Pulitzer Prize-nominated author, she is also distinguished for her work with the National Endowment for the Arts, where she served as an advisor.

Completing coursework in drama, music and dance at Bennett College and Barber-Scotia College, Ms. Ayers-Allen was presented with two honorary doctorates from Wilberforce University and Bennett College in 1995 and 2006, respectively. Attributing her success to her continual pursuit of education, she enjoys spending time with her family and studying astronomy in her spare time. Looking toward the future, she intends to publish more books and poems.

For more:

Brainerd Institute

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