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Mozella Galloway, 61, chronicled African American women's history

Mozella Galloway. Emory Photo/Video.

A memorial service will be held this week for Mozella Galloway, a longtime Emory University employee widely recognized for her commitment to helping preserve and promote the voices of African American women.  

Galloway, 61, who served as an information analyst II in the Office of Graduate Medical Education for Emory's School of Medicine, died Nov. 19. Her memorial service will be Saturday, Dec. 1 at 10 a.m. at Raleigh Rucker Funeral Home, 2199 Candler Road, Decatur, Ga. A fellowship meal will follow.  

A Chicago native, Galloway came to Emory in 1995 to work first in the financial aid department then later in the registrar's office and the medical school. Co-workers say she made no secret of how much she enjoyed the benefits of being employed in a university environment, including access to enriching lectures, concerts and library resources.  

In fact, Galloway credited her campus connections with helping nurture the creation of the National Black Herstory Task Force (NBHTF), an Atlanta-based nonprofit cultural and educational organization she co-founded in 1997 to celebrate and chronicle the lives of women of African descent and their alliances.  

The goal of the organization was to "seek out the untold stories of black women and bring them into the light of day for all to see," Galloway once wrote, through developing educational and cultural programs, catalogued archives, and a planned online research library.  

"More than anything it was important to her to acknowledge unsung heroes, to use her term, and their alliances — those who risked their lives and careers to aid black people and black women in having certain rights and freedoms," explains Latonya Peterson, Galloway's daughter and a NBHTF charter member.  

"I think that was a strong motivation behind her founding (NBHTF)," she adds. "She wanted to say thank you."  

In a first-person essay published in Emory Report in 2007, Galloway recalled how the fledging organization quickly grew: "We found ourselves scrabbling for affordable space to meet … we would gather in the Quad, in the hospital cafeteria, staff offices after hours or our other favorite place — the White Hall lobby sitting areas."  

 When Ali Crown, then director of Emory's Center for Women, learned of the organization's plight, the NBHTF was invited to gather at the center. From those meetings emerged the first annual NBHTF Conference and Awards Banquet in March 1998 — an event that still continues.  

From work life to campus involvement, Galloway leaves a unique legacy at Emory, says the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, dean of the chapel and religious life, who collaborated with NBHTF through Emory's Office of Religious Life.  

"She was a lovely person and a real go-getter," Henry-Crowe recalls. "And her mission was heartfelt — there was a deep commitment to history and justice issues that was inherent in who she was, in the fiber of her being. And her great organizational skills matched her passion."  

Through her work with NBHTF, Galloway was asked to serve on the former President's Commission on the Status of Women at Emory.  

At the time of her death, Galloway continued to lead NBHTF as president and co-founder.  

"She was a warm, wonderful woman — I will miss her more than words can express," Peterson says. "We'll do everything in our power to uphold her vision."  

In the Office of Graduate Medical Education at the medical school, Galloway's contributions and heartfelt camaraderie touched the lives of students, co-workers and educators.  

"Our office provides oversight for 93 accredited residency programs. Mo has worked with so many of them, training coordinators and program directors on our database systems," says Marilane Bond, assistant dean of graduate medical education.  

"Even though our office is small, our reach — and her reach — truly extended to many departments on campus," she notes. "We knew her not only as a co-worker, but also as a friend. It was a truly devastating loss."  

Memorial donations can be made to NBHTF to aid in continuing Galloway's ongoing work and her dream of creating a library to archive those important historical records. Donations may also be sent to: Latonya Peterson, 3033 Francine Drive, Decatur, Ga., 30033.

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