Tamara Lucas Copeland is African-American, a child of the South, born, educated and still living there. This distinction provides a unique personal vantage point for issues of racial equity. She is also an only child, a circumstance that sometimes leads to friends being more like family. These factors contribute to her love for her forever friends, her perspective on the role race plays in America, and her authorship of Daughters of the Dream, the blog and the book.
For decades, Tamara watched her mother research the genealogical history of her family, talking to relatives, reviewing microfiche on hundreds of library visits long before the internet existed, as she labored to produce two published works. Motivated by her mother’s determination to document her family and by her and her friends’ realization of the importance of their five-plus decades-long friendship, Tamara took on the challenge of telling their story. Not a historian, but an avid observer of the overlay of history on the racial reality of America, Daughters of the Dream is the result.
Tamara is the former president of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG). Founded in 1992, WRAG is a nonprofit association with over 100 of the most well-respected foundations and corporate giving programs in the Greater Washington, D.C. region as its members. Her leadership with WRAG’s groundbreaking work, Putting Racism on the Table, has received widespread recognition for enabling the philanthropic community to understand issues around race so they might work for racial equity. She has extensive experience in nonprofit management and on children’s policy having led Voices for America’s Children, the National Health & Education Consortium, and the Infant Mortality Initiative of Southern Governors’ Association and Southern Legislative Conference and having been Congressman Bobby Scott’s (D-VA) Legislative Director.