Sandra Bolden Cunningham is a New Jersey native, who grew up in Newark and now lives in Jersey City. She is a graduate of Bloomfield College where she earned a B.A. Degree. She attended New York Academy of Theater Arts and received a Fund Raising Certificate from New York University.
Currently, she is the Executive Director of The Glenn D. & Sandra Cunningham Foundation located in Jersey City whose goal is to help high school students who may not get the opportunity to attend college by providing them with scholarships and funds for books. The Foundation also partners the students with a mentor to help guide them through their college education.
Mrs. Cunningham is the former Executive Director of the Hudson County Bar Association in Jersey City. She was responsible for developing techniques and special events for long term fund raising initiatives; managed and executed a budget upwards of $100,000; planned, developed and implemented continuing legal educations for lawyers. Also, she wrote, produced and hosted a cable television program designed to help demystify the law and to define the role of lawyers to the general community.
At Montclair State College, she taught basic information regarding the Judicial and Court System to grammar and high school students in the Talented and Gifted Program by performing in Mock Trials.
She was a Community and Public Relations Coordinator for the Essex-Newark Legal Services. Her duties included coordinating community education seminars on housing, landlord/tenant and domestic issues. Also, she drafted brochures and designed the agency’s newsletter, developed proposals for grants to increase agency activities, implemented programs to expand the role of legal services in the community, and produced a cable television program to educate and inform the community of legal issues that affect the general population.
As the Deputy Director of the Metropolitan Ecumenical Ministry, she initiated programs to expand the role of the church in the community. In this position, she developed a county-wide transportation program for the elderly and handicapped, supervised a staff of twenty (20), developed personnel policies, orientation sessions and a manual; and was responsible for on going fund-raising through proposal writing and gamesmanship.
She is the wife of the late Glenn D. Cunningham, the first black Mayor of Jersey City, who was elected State Senator, 31st District a few months prior to his passing.
The Courier Times describes her best by stating, “For Glenn was blessed to have met and married a woman whose class, sophistication and determination in her own right would continue the great deeds that she and her husband once planned.”
Sandra Bolden Cunningham, Jersey City’s first African American First Lady continues on the journey that she and her husband began.