Jotaka Eaddy named 2014 Outstanding Black Alumna

Jotaka Eaddy grew up in Johnsonville, S.C., wanting to be just like her cousin Tammy. She idolized her so much that when the time came to go to college, Eaddy followed her cousin to the University of South Carolina. That may have been the last time Eaddy followed anyone.

Eaddy has led on a number of civil and human rights issues. Her work on an advocacy campaign against the death penalty for juveniles contributed to the U.S. Supreme Court’s abolishing the practice. She also has lobbied within a number of international organizations, including the United Nations' Human Rights Commission, the Organization of American States and the U.N. Conference Against Racism.

Her activist nature was nurtured while at UofSC, where she became the first African-American woman elected student body president.

“The University of South Carolina is integral to who I am. I love the University of South Carolina. I believe I stand on a rich legacy, those who came before me,” Eaddy says.

Eaddy was recently named senior vice president for government affairs for a Silicon Valley, Calif.-based financial tech company. Prior to that, she worked in senior leadership roles at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and USAction.

My Carolina Alumni Association named Jotaka Eaddy, ’01, the 2014 Outstanding Black Alumna.

“This is an honor that I would never ever have imagined,” Eaddy says.

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