|Dr. Rita LaVerne (Stevenson) Robinson was born on October 11, 1936 and raised in Washington D.C. She is the second eldest in a family of seven born to Samuel and Rita Stevenson. In her early teens, Dr. Robinson assumed part of the nurturing and rearing responsibilities for her siblings, as her mother was the sole provider for the family and had to work outside the home. Even then, Dr. Robinson exhibited a propensity for the field of education, teaching her younger siblings to read well before they started school. As a teenager, Dr. Robinson worked part-time jobs and contributed all her pay to her mother to help care for the younger children and to pay bills. She was a first-generation college graduate in her family, and went on to earn a Masters Degree in Education in 1971, and a Ph.D. degree in 1985, both from the University of Maryland. Her perseverance and achievements encouraged other family members to follow the path to higher education.
Dr. Robinson spent her early years in D.C. attending school and college, and teaching in the public schools from 1958 to 1974. In 1960, she married her childhood friend, John N. Robinson, Jr. She and John have been married for 57 years and are proud parents of four grown children and grandparents of four. The family moved to Prince George’s County in 1970 where Dr. Robinson continued her career as an educator. Here, she was actively involved in the educational, political, social and cultural aspects of the county and the state.
Her broad professional career and experience include work as a counselor, pupil personnel worker, vice-principal, principal, Director of Pupil Services, Director of the Office of Equity Assurance and Director of Staff Development for the Prince George’s County Public Schools (1974 – 2004). Under her leadership, the school system developed and implemented the administrative procedure for harassment and discrimination, and added sexual orientation in its provisions for the safe school component of multicultural education.
A licensed professional counselor, educator and consultant, Dr. Robinson is the founder and owner of Creative Learning Enterprises specializing in developing solutions for enhancing positive human communication, fostering positive growth and interaction, and developing educational products for improving the lives of constituents. She is also a counselor/therapist in her own private practice, established in 2005.
Currently, Dr. Robinson is an adjunct professor of graduate courses at Bowie State University and is an independent contractor for the Anti-Defamation League. She has also taught graduate courses at McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College) and the University of the District of Columbia. Dr. Robinson is a member of the Board of Trustees of Prince George’s Community College as well.
She is a former president of the Maryland Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development and the former president of the Maryland Association for Counseling and Development. She has served on the Executive Board of a number of organizations, including the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, the Women’s Heritage Center, the Archdiocese of Washington Ladies of Charity, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. She regularly provides pro bono counseling services and conducts workshops and symposium on topics such as domestic violence and human trafficking. She is the recipient of numerous awards from professional and community organizations at the local, state, and national levels for her outstanding leadership and service, and is the author of Daughters and Dads - the Ties That Bind.
Biography courtesy of the Maryland Commission for Women, 2018.
© Copyright Maryland State Archives, 2018