NAU celebrates 

Honoring the trailblazer, Dr. Teta Banks, during Black History Month

As we celebrate Black History Month, we pay homage to the remarkable achievements of our Director of University Advancement and Planning, Dr. Teta Banks. The Honorable Dr. Teta V. Banks is a diplomat, human rights advocate, and educator. Originally from Liberia, she grew up in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of the late Dr. Victoria Banks and Rev. Dr. A.A. Banks, Jr. civil rights colleagues of Dr. King and Mrs. Rosa Parks. She holds the position as the National Chair of the United Nations Association of the United States of America. She is the second woman to hold this position in the organization’s 70+ years. The UNA-USA, with its 30,000 membership throughout the USA, is part of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) consisting of 94 countries. She is a member of the Executive Committee of WFUNA and is the first woman to represent America on the ExCo. Established by Eleanor Roosevelt in 1946, the UNA has as its mission to advocate for the mission and vision of the United Nations and upholding human rights.

Dr. Banks accompanied the U.N. Secretary-General on his mission tour for the refugee crisis, and was selected as one of 100 people-worldwide to be a citizen delegate to the Secretary-General’s U.N. Special Session on Human Trafficking. As National Chair of the UNA-USA, she has championed such programs and initiatives as the following: Model United Nations for students, Global Classrooms, Millennium Development Goals consultations, Sustainable Development Goals program integration, advocacy for UN full funding; UN Foundation programs- Nothing But Nets, Shot at Life, Girl Up; UNA-EPA Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority project, UNA Women, and UN75.

Dr. Banks also has served as Consul General of the Republic of Liberia, representing the country as it progressed through an era of civil war, rebuilding, the ebola crisis, humanitarian outreach, and redevelopment. She has held numerous positions including the following: Executive Director of the King Association for Nonviolence appointed by Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Liaison for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and President of the Consular Corps of Philadelphia. 

Dr. Banks has served at several universities in both faculty and administrative positions, is a member of the Advisory Board of North American University, serves a Director of University Advancement and Development at NAU, is a member of the Advisory Board of the Honors College at Texas Southern University, is a senior advisor to the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives by appointment by the great-granddaughter of Frederick Douglass, chairs the International Trends Facet of The Links, Inc (Texas Spring Cypress Chapter), and is an Honorary Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She has published books and articles and presented speeches on the topics of global education, literature, women’s issues, human rights, and civil rights. She is the recipient of many awards and recognitions, including recognition as a “Distinguished Daughter of Liberia” and “Top 30 Influential Women of Houston.” She attended Wellesley College, Howard University, Wayne State University, Capella University, and Oxford University.