Honoring Vivian Fox
Cyril Josh Barker | 9/19/2013, 3:09 p.m.
Vivian Fox serves as executive director of the 1199SEIU Child Care Funds and president of the 1199SEIU Child Care Corporation. Established in 1998, the 1199SEIU/Employer Child Care Corporation is a nonprofit organization that provides educational programs for children and youth. The corporation offers many programs such as WorkForce 2000, the Future of America Learning Center, a Youth mentorship program and camp programs.
“Children and youth enrolled in the corporation’s programs receive guidance and support that aids in their academic achievement, intellectual and social development, health awareness and overall well-being,” said Fox. “The corporation has achieved success in providing parents with the tools, knowledge and resources to give themselves and their families brighter, more promising futures.”
Fox joined the Child Care Fund for 1199SEIU after six years as president and CEO of National Medical Fellowships Inc. She served as executive director of the New York City Private Industry Council, managing director of the New York City Employment Committee and the first African-American woman to become executive director of the YWCA of the City of New York. During her tenure at the African-American Institute (AAI), Fox held senior leadership positions, including associate director of the Educators to Africa program, where she led over 150 American senior educators on a series of study seminars throughout West Africa; worked as a program assistant in the Southern Africa Student Program; and served as one of AAI’s liaisons to the United Nations Mission of the Republic of Botswana.
She was 17 years old when the March on Washington took place in 1963 and says that the focus Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had back then is still relevant today.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” said Fox. “The first march was for jobs and freedom, and the issues remain the same: quality jobs, fair wages, educational opportunities and good health care.”
In the recent primary election, 1199SEIU played a huge role in getting their members to go to the polls.The union endorsed Bill de Blasio in the Democratic primary. Fox said de Blasio has been close with the union and looks forward to him winning the general election in November.
“Our members went door-to-door and made robo-calls,” she said. “We wanted our members to know the significance of this election and the need to put a Democrat back in City Hall. Bill de Blasio has a great respect for the labor movement.”
Fox worked as a consultant to the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation, where she evaluated the viability of several major national social and civil rights organizations. She was an active consultant to the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution, working under the leadership of George Nicolau and Arthur Barnes. She has served on several boards and councils, including the Harlem Hospital Advisory Board, New York Women of Distinction and the National Political Congress of Black Women. Fox is a former president of the Association of Black Agency Executives and a former officer of the Greater New York Chapter of the Links.
A graduate of Hunter College, Fox holds a B.S. in political science. In 1989, she was inducted into the Academy of Women Achievers. In October 1995, the first lady recognized her at the White House as one of the nation’s outstanding nonprofit CEOs. Fox became an Aspen Scholar in 1996 and completed the Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management series at Harvard University School of Business.