Leola Clement Robinson

Civil Rights Leader

Leola Clement Robinson has been a civil rights leader her entire adult life. At the age of 15, she became the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Youth Councils and College Chapters in South Carolina, a position she held for several years. During the 1960s, Robinson led numerous state and regional civil rights protests and was arrested multiple times.

Professionally, Robinson dedicated her career to supporting individuals striving for upward mobility. She directed the award-winning Education and Secondary School Act (ESSA) Youth Program for the Greenville Urban League, led the Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s School-to Work Employment Program, supervised a $10 million job training program for the Greenville Private Industry Council, served as the training director for the City of Greenville and managed Greenville Technical College’s TRIO Tutoring and Support Program for students.

Beyond her employment, Robinson served for 16 years on the Greenville County School Board and for 10 years in the South Carolina House of Representatives, where she chaired two legislative subcommittees. She authored a book documenting the history of African Americans in Greenville County from the 1770s to the present and co-founded a nonprofit after-school program for disadvantaged youth, coined the Center for Educational Equity. 

Robinson graduated with honors from Sterling High School in Greenville. She earned an undergraduate degree from the City University of New York, a graduate certificate in Public Policy and Program Planning from Brandeis University and a Master of Education degree from Furman University.

Robinson is the mother of four adult children, including one deceased son, and has 17 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

06 Leola Robinson