Frances Powell Pratt
Dr. Frances Ethel Powell Pratt is a native of Chester County, South Carolina, the tenth child of the Powell family. She studied religious education at Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina. After relocating to Nyack, her compassion for helping others led her to enroll in the Nursing Program at SUNY–RCC; after earning a nursing degree and passing the New York State Board of Nursing Licensure Examination (RN), she became the first African American to serve as Emergency Room head nurse at Nyack Hospital. The Nyack Hospital Emergency Waiting Room is now named after her, with a mounted portrait and plaque of Dr. Pratt on its wall.
Since 1981, Dr. Pratt has been president of the Nyack Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the world’s largest and oldest civil rights organization. Under her leadership, the branch has championed many issues involving civic engagement, health, education, economics, criminal justice and youth, and young adult engagement, which has led the branch to receive more than 120 coveted awards, plaques, trophies and certificates of appreciation.
Dr.Pratt has also won numerous awards personally, including the Civil Rights Advocate “Spirit Award” in 2006, sponsored by the New York State Governor’s Salute to Harriet Tubman and the Fellowship of Reconciliation’s Peace Prize in 2009. She was among the first civil rights leaders inducted into the Rockland County Civil and Human Rights Hall of Fame in 2003 and has served on many advisory boards, commissions, and organizations.
Dr. Pratt's tireless efforts to advance the programs of the National and State NAACP at the local level has advanced the human rights and civil rights of Rockland’s citizens. Her unwavering fortitude and commitment to the cause for civil and human rights for all people in Rockland, quality and accessible education for our children, and fair housing and employment opportunities have made Rockland a better place to live, work and grow.