BASIL AND BECKY EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION

Filling in the Gaps in History

The Basil and Becky Educational Foundation understands that African American history and culture are part of a larger experience generally absent from the American consciousness.
For the benefit of this and future generations, we incorporate our research into documentary film and virtual interview archives, include instructional curricula, and make it all available via the Internet. Our work is designed to fill in the gaps in the history of humankind because we recognize the interconnectedness of all things.

About Us

The Basil and Becky Educational Foundation makes history and culture exciting and relevant to current and future generations of young people who deserve to know on whose shoulders they stand. We share stories of our ancestors by "filling in the gaps" of history and moving peoples of African descent from the margins to the main pages of our history and culture.



Who We Are

Gregory S. Cooke

is the Founder and Executive Officer of the Basil and Becky Educational Foundation. As a long-time educator and historian, he is dedicated to helping "relocate" African Americans from the "margins to the main pages" of American and global history.

Gregory teaches Writing and Film at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He earned his M.A. in Journalism from The Ohio State University, and a B.A. in English from American International College.

Gina Cooke

is a life-long educator and currently teaches at The Community College of Philadelphia. She is a retired Teacher of English and Screenwriting from the School District of Philadelphia.

Gina created the iconic images, in oils, "Victory" and "Allies", for two World War II documentaries.

Gina earned an MA in Education, MEd in Counseling from The College of New Jersey, and a BA in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Gwendolyn N. Bright

is a judge for the Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District, Pennsylvania, and currently presides over Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault cases.

Gwen is a native Philadelphian and possesses a diverse educational background. She earned her law degree from Temple University, an M.A. in African American Studies from Atlanta University, and a B.A. in History and Political Science from Delaware State College.

Rel Dowdell

is an Assistant Screenwriting Professor at Boston University, and an accomplished filmmaker known for his thought provoking portrayals of the African American experience. Dowdell's Where's Daddy (2017), Changing the Game (2012), and Train Ride (2002) have garnered critical acclaim.

Rel earned an M.A. in Film, Boston University, and a B.A. in English from Fisk University.

 

Biodun Ope

is Pastor at Living Spring Center in Philadelphia where he serves his congregation with "passion, empathy and humility." Biodun began his ministerial studies in his native, Lagos, Nigeria. As one of 19 children, Pastor Ope was born into a family that stresses education as a means of self-determination and making positive change in the world.

Pastor Ope earned a Business Administration degree from Cheyney University.

Dr. Reginald F. Wells

has a distinguished career as a public servant in the US Government. He is currently the Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Office of Human Resources after serving as Deputy Associate Commissioner for Disability Program Policy and Senior Advisor in the Office of Disability and Income Security Programs.

Reggie earned a Ph.D. in Social and Organizational Psychology from Temple University, and a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from American International College.

OUR VISION

Our vision is to share globally, and with integrity, the significance of the African American experience. We create, sponsor and support documentary storytelling that illuminates the rich historical and cultural story that is the African American experience - stories that aren't in textbooks. We capture real life perspectives of African Americans who have lived and continue to live America's story.

  • We emphasize the importance of African American history and culture as being part of the larger American experience.
  • We have a commitment to audio visual historical education.
  • We recognize the interconnectedness of all things that we do.
  • We demonstrate social responsibility and ethical behavior in our activities.
  • We approach all of our activities and partners with purpose and mutual respect.
  • Our educational approach mirrors our commitment to inclusiveness and involvement with all peoples, regardless of race or ethnicity.

OUR FILMS

Through the work of the Basil and Becky Educational Foundation, we can share the stories of our ancestors in African American history with our children and generations to come.

Invisible Warriors: African American Women in World War II

INVISIBLE WARRIORS: AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN IN WORLD WAR II features elegant ladies, now in their 80s and 90s, who represent the 600,000 Black women who fled lives as domestics and sharecroppers to work in factories and governments offices. They were the first! Affectionately known during the war as “Rosie the Riveters,” our Warriors triumphed over racism at home, Nazism abroad, and sexism everywhere. They opened doors of opportunity for future generations of working women in America.

Choc’late Soldiers from the USA

CHOC’LATE SOLDIERS FROM THE USA (CSUSA) recounts how 140,000 African American soldiers - men and women - formed an unexpected, but everlasting bond with white British civilians during World War II. CSUSA was honored with the Congressional Black Caucus, Veterans Braintrust Award, and won medals at the Bakersfield and Indie Film Festivals in 2013.

SUPPORT OUR WORK

The Basil and Becky Educational Foundation is an engine for the creation of a perennial educational archive to inform, update, and supplement existing educational programs. We will partner with students and educational institutions to create stories for and about peoples of African descent. We will also give burgeoning filmmakers opportunities to participate in the filmmaking process, and to learn from seasoned professionals.

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Contact US

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us at any time and we'll get back to you shortly.

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