Junior League of Dallas Partners with Dallas Independent School District and The State Fair Of Texas to Distribute Juanita J. Craft Commemorative Coloring Book to More Than 10,000 Fourth-Grade Students Districtwide

(Featured photo: Shalon Bond, Director, Social Studies Department, Dallas ISD; Jennifer Atkins, Principal, Charles Rice Learning Center, Dallas ISD; Emily Somerville, President, Junior League of Dallas; Natalynne Walton, Manager, Community & Advocacy, State Fair of Texas.)

Junior League of Dallas (JLD) has partnered with the State Fair of Texas and Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) to print and distribute a commemorative Juanita J. Craft coloring book to more than 10,600 fourth-grade students across 153 of Dallas ISD’s elementary campuses as part of their Texas History curriculum. The coloring book is being distributed as a special lesson plan on the pivotal role Juanita J. Craft played in shaping the history of civil rights in the state of Texas and beyond — including the desegregation of the State Fair of Texas and her work to integrate the Dallas ISD.

Juanita Craft was a prominent civil rights activist and the second Black woman elected to the Dallas City Council. She built a legacy of fighting against racial discrimination and segregation in Dallas and across the country. In 1955, Ms. Craft organized a protest against the State Fair of Texas’ segregationist policies. She continued to organize a protest every year until the State Fair was finally integrated in 1967 as a result of her dedication. To honor Ms. Craft’s 12-year fight for desegregation, the State Fair of Texas partnered with JLD to support the coloring book project and sponsor the printing. 

Illustrated by Dallas-based contemporary painter and educator Desireé Vaniecia and commissioned by the Junior League of Dallas, the coloring book ensures that this generation of students learns the important story of Juanita J. Craft, her contributions to Dallas, and her way of creating positive change in her community. The book ends with a call for students to consider how they can effect positive change in their own homes and schools.

“JLD is committed to supporting education and fostering diversity and inclusion across our areas of impact in the Dallas community. Dallas ISD and the State Fair of Texas have been enthusiastic partners who are eager to share this impactful learning tool with teachers and students as they visit the State Fair with their friends and families. This is an exciting moment that builds on the momentum of our Centennial Project and commitment to sharing Ms. Crafts’ legacy with the entire Dallas Community,” said JLD President Emily Somerville-Cabrera.

In September 2020, following meetings with the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture and the State Fair of Texas, the Junior League of Dallas announced the rehabilitation of the Juanita J. Craft Civil Rights House as its Centennial Anniversary Project. In conjunction with the city of Dallas, more than $1.4 million has been raised for its rehabilitation and future educational programming. The home is expected to reopen to the public in spring 2023 and will serve as a museum and a place for all to learn about Ms. Craft’s legacy in Dallas’ history and civil rights.


The Junior League of Dallas cultivates leaders who collectively address the critical needs of the community. Founded in 1922, JLD is one of the largest Junior Leagues in the world, as well as the largest and oldest training organization for women in Dallas. Active members range in age from 22 to 49 with approximately 85% percent of women employed outside of the home. The JLD provides leadership opportunities to nearly 4,500 women each year through more than 26,000 cumulative hours of experiential and formal training. Uniquely member-run, JLD provides over 130,000 hours in volunteer service and approximately $1 million in funding to area nonprofits each year. For more information, please visit www.jldallas.org or Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


The Dallas Independent School District is continually preparing its more than 142,000 students for college or a career. The district offers a competitive mix of innovative programs, choice programs and instructional initiatives that support the increased academic achievement and the social and emotional development of its students. To learn more, visit www.dallasisd.org.


Since its inception in 1886, the State Fair of Texas has celebrated all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. The State Fair of Texas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with proceeds helping to preserve and improve our home, Fair Park; underwrite museums, community initiatives, and scholarship programs to support students throughout the Lone Star State pursuing higher education; and help improve State Fair operations. The 2022 exposition runs September 30 through October 23 in Fair Park. Visit BigTex.com for more information. 


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly SocialWhirl.com), the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.