Barbara J. Dawson


        Barbara J. Dawson is an advocate for doing what is right and in the best interest of all mankind. Mrs. Dawson was involved in a car accident, shattering the lenses of her eyeglasses, which were made of real glass, and sending needlelike slivers of glass into both eyes, leaving her blinded. 

       After regaining her strength, and learning to live in a world without sight, Mrs. Dawson set her course to establish legislation, in Massachusetts and on a Federal level, that would require the use of tough shatter-resistant material vs. glass in the lenses of all eyeglasses. She spoke before legislators on Beacon Hill and wrote several articles on the topic. She fought in writing and in person, until 1970 when the bill passed and she stood beside Governor Francis Sargent when he signed the momentous bill into State Law. Mrs. Dawson was then invited to the White House in July of 1970, where she again shared her story. On December 31, 1971 a federal law was passed that all glasses and sunglasses made, and sold in America, must be made of shatterproof, splinter-proof, laminated or heat-tempered glasses or plastic. Because of her tenacious efforts, in 1971, Mrs. Dawson was presented a citation from the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Blindness.

     Mrs. Dawson has many awards and accolades for her work such as the following:


Drylongso Award from Community Change Inc., of Boston in 1996,

Boston Latin School honored her by naming her their outstanding Alumnae of 1998,

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., recognized her in 1975 for her work in passing legislation for safety glasses

 Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. recognized Dawson for 50 plus years of service in her Sorority.


     Mrs. Dawson is a life member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., and Delta Omicron Zeta Chapter. Thus, we honor her for her service, and for exemplifying the principles on which our Sisterhood was founded. 

To be considered an applicant:

  • Must be a graduating high school senior who is a permanent resident of Boston, Massachusetts.

  • Have a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.

  • Submit a college/university Letter of Acceptance.

  • Submit a offical letter verifying full-time status and enrollment of college/university .  

  • Must submit a complete application with all required components and documentation.

Application and components due May 31, 2020 to Delta Omicron Zeta Chapter


The Barbara J. Dawson Book Award