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Season 6Meet the Characters

Dr. Frances “Toni” Draper

AFRO-American Newspaper

Dr. Frances Murphy Draper’s great-grandfather started the AFRO-American Newspaper in 1892, and Frances (Toni) —with a knack for journalism—served as president of the company from 1987 to 1999, making her the perfect expert to work with the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder in Season 6.

In February 2018, Draper was named chairman of the board and publisher of the paper and has continued to be an influential community leader in her native Baltimore. In 2002, Draper became the founding pastor of the Freedom Temple African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in south Baltimore.

A sought-after speaker and author of two books, Dr. Draper serves on the boards of the National Newspaper Publishers’ Association, the Y of Central Maryland, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (Baltimore City) and the Advisory Board of Results Baltimore. In addition, she is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the Executive Alliance.

Dr. Draper received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language education from Morgan State University, master’s degrees in education, business administration and pastoral counseling and a doctorate in leadership. She was Morgan’s Board of Regents for 25 years before stepping down in 2020.

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