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This profile was last updated on 11/14/03  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Doris J. Spencer

Wrong Doris J. Spencer?
 
Background

Employment History

  • Executive Director
    Virginia Community College System's Institute for Excellence
  • Owner and Principal
    Cammack Settlements , LLC
  • President and Chief Executive Officer
    Cammack Media Group, LLC
  • Chairwoman
    Southern Maryland Consortium of African American Community Organizations
  • Executive Director, Institute for Excellence In Information Technology
    Virginia Community College System
  • Director of the Office of Information Resources At the Administration
    U.S. Maritime

Board Memberships and Affiliations

Education

  • Information Technology
    Virginia Community College System's Institute for Excellence
  • Masters degree , Public Administration
    Dale Carnegie Institute for Public Speaking
Web References
Today's News
www.prnewswire.com, 14 Nov 2003 [cached]
Tough, wise and fearless, Doris Jean Cammack Spencer, 63, is perfect for the job.Having successfully battled bigotry and injustice for decades in the federal government, Spencer is experienced, confident and determined to win.Early in life, she looked the fearsome, twin barriers of racial prejudice and sexual discrimination squarely in the eye, and not only survived, but thrived.Her countless achievements testify to her endurance, intelligence and integrity.
"I met every goal I ever set for myself," Spencer says firmly, "despite obstacles that were put before me and I never shied away from standing up for my principles."
In 1958 and 1988, she walked off federal jobs in information technology to protest prejudicial or unfair labor practices.However, her technical skills were so valuable, her superiors asked her back each time.
At the U.S. Maritime Administration in 1979, Spencer led a class action lawsuit, charging the agency with "race and sex discrimination."She won.In her 17 ensuing years at the agency, she was sent to graduate school, trained for Senior Executive Service, and promoted to the Directorate level.
Through her work with the National Women's Political Caucus in the mid- 1970's, Spencer served on the Caucus's team that was responsible for conducting interviews of incoming Cabinet Secretaries and recommending appointees to former President Jimmy Carter's transition team.When Carter "back-pedaled on some campaign promises," Spencer actually walked out on the President of the United States!"I don't mind people, once they get into a position, realizing they can't do what they thought they could, but you need to tell people," she said emphatically."All you have is your word!"Even after this major breach of protocol, Spencer said smiling, "I was invited back to the White House."
In a lifetime of challenge and achievement, becoming "the first African- American chair" of the Democratic Party in Calvert is, for Spencer, just one of many "firsts."But for this narrow, peninsular county, her powerful presence is bound to reverberate.
African Americans account for roughly 13%* of Calvert's 87,000** residents, and 28% of Maryland's population.If national polls hold here, 72%*** of the registered voters among them are firmly in the Democratic camp; ninety percent of African American voters picked Democrat Al Gore in the 2000 election. ("And maybe two blacks show up for an evening Democratic Club [in Calvert]!"Spencer declares hotly."That's insane!")
Providing all eligible African Americans register in Calvert County, Maryland, as many as 5,000 black, Democratic votes could be counted here in the 2004 Presidential Election.Non concerned can forget 2000, when the race for the White House was decided by 537 popular votes in Florida, and nationally by five Electoral College votes**** ("hanging chads" not- withstanding)?
All of which means the Democratic leadership in Calvert -- and counties nationwide -- will focus hard on voter registration drives among African Americans in the coming months.At a local Democratic Club meeting last year, Spencer chided her colleagues: "I'm here as the party chair, a black, and I don't see any of me?Something's wrong with this picture!I know there are black Democrats [in Calvert]," she commanded, "find them!"
Spencer says she intends to open discussion on subjects like racism in Calvert, long obscured by some ancient, complicit custom between blacks and whites to (at least publicly) view race relations through a sort of Southern Maryland-simulated gentility."There are issues, like racism in the county, that are not being addressed, and I think it's time," she says evenly."I'll bring things up that others would not."
If such frank comments trouble some Calvert Democrats, or the Central Committee who elected her, Spencer is unconcerned.
"I stand on principle," Spencer says, with characteristic directness."I am a proud, African-American woman.Deal with it!I've earned that right."
Yet, at that same time, Spencer is "a Democrat through & through and always will be.Democrats do care, without question, about working class people.They care about things that are important to me as an African American, a woman, a grandmother, and that's a system that's fair to everybody, not just to a select few."
Spencer knows first hand about systems that are unfair, having grown up poor and black in Southeast Washington, during the mean times of the 1950's.She was one of 9 black students to enter then all white, Anacostia High School in 1954, the first year of forced integration."When we arrived the first day of school," Spencer recalled, "there must have been 2,000 people standing out there ... they spat on us, shot us with water guns, sicced dogs on us."
During the next four years, Spencer faced unconscionable prejudice at school: white students assaulted her, slammed doors in her face, laughed and pointed at her during class lessons on slavery.But what wounded Spencer more was the academic damage done by her all-white teachers.
"I loved school," she explained.But, having come from an under-funded, all black school, "I wasn't up to where the other students were."So she worked extra hard, studying late every night, raising her hand in class at every opportunity.But "no matter what I did," Spencer recalled, shaking her head at the memory, "they'd never call on me." And though she received good grades throughout junior high school, her final record was spitefully falsified."When I graduated, I had maybe a 1.5 grade point average (GPA)," she said in disgust.
Bruises heal, and terror, though never forgotten, fades, but the stamp of failure with which her teachers tried to brand her, was to Spencer, unthinkable.So she set out, from that moment on, to prove them wrong, rising professionally over the next 38 years, in spite of, her color, sex and academic record the limits set against her.
Starting as a GS2, "keypunch operator" at the Department of Agriculture in 1958, Spencer advanced -- like the computers she programmed -- to a GS15 by 1986, when she served as Director of the Office of Information Resources at the U.S. Maritime Administration.During those years, she single-handedly raised two children, earned a Masters degree in Public Administration, completed Senior Executive Service training, the Federal Executive Institute and the Dale Carnegie Institute for Public Speaking.
When Spencer retired from government service in 1996, it was with a Meritorious Service Award and literally dozens of honorary appointments, demonstrating without a doubt, that it was not she who had failed, but her high school teachers, and the corrupt system of discrimination itself.
Following her 34 year of government service, Spencer became Executive Director for the Virginia Community College System's (VCCS) Institute for Excellence in Information Technology, working closely with 23 community colleges and the Northern Virginia Technology Council, to address the workforce shortfall in information technologists skills required by the technology Industry.
To find her ideal retirement, Spencer scoured the Bay shoreline as far as Virginia, finally settling on a Chesapeake Beach townhouse in Calvert County, Maryland in 2000."I wanted to be near the water, but close to my grandchildren and Washington.I'm a fisher-person," she explains, with political correctness."That's my hobby."With her grandson and "fishing partner," she catches the head-boats from the pier just a stone's throw from her bay view home.
But just when and how Spencer finds time for recreation is difficult to fathom.On top of her work for local Democrats, she recently established Cammack Settlements, LLC, a business entity licensed by the State of Maryland to operate as a Title insurance Company.A myriad of other political and volunteer organizations -- from the Calvert Board of County Commissioners' Citizen Advisory and Code Home Rule Committees, to the Chesapeake Beach Maryland Zoning Appeals Board and the Mid-Chesapeake Bay Kiwanis -- vie for her attention.She is active regionally in the League of Women Voters, the American Association of University Women and the Lower Western Shore Tributary Strategy Team (a gubernatorial appointment).Nationally, she wields influence on the Board of Directors of the National Congress of Black Women, (NCBW).
...
In any case, Jefferson would be proud, for his Democratic Party, and its unprecedented ideals still survive and thrive in the vibrant person of Doris J. Spencer, proof positive of the triumph of truth and the hope of possibility.
Doris Spencer (VA) ...
www.npcbw.org, 13 Mar 2007 [cached]
Doris Spencer (VA)
Cammack Settlements, LLC - Calvert County Chamber of Commerce
www.calvertchamber.org, 6 Sept 2006 [cached]
Ms. Doris J Spencer (Owner)
Doris Spencer, Chairwoman ...
bdpa.groupsite.com, 10 Dec 2009 [cached]
Doris Spencer, Chairwoman - So. MD Consortium of African American Community Organizations
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