Alice Allison Dunnigan was a civil rights pioneer whose struggles against the twin strikes of racism and sexism are memorialized by a bronze statue and an exhibit at the SEEK Museum in her hometown of Russellville, Kentucky.
Dunnigan was the first female African-American to be admitted to the White House, Congressional and Supreme Court press corps. As the Washington correspondent for the Associated Negro Press, she worked with Congress to pass legislation that allowed her to obtain these press credentials in 1947. She then reported on national affairs with a focus on civil rights and other matters that were important to African-Americans. She also served on the president’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and worked for several years to enforce compliance of the Civil Rights Acts. Dunnigan published her autobiography, A Black Woman’s Experience: From Schoolhouse to White House, in 1974.