Joe L. Atkins graduated from Lincoln High School in 1954. He received his Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and his Master of Education Degree from the University of North Texas. He served in the U.S. Army for two years. He is married to Marjorie and has a son from her, Joseph Bernard Atkins.
Mr. Atkins taught Journalism at James Madison High School and North Dallas High School from 1963 to 1974. He served as a Field Representative for the Texas State Teachers Association from 1974 to 1997 where he built a distinguished career defending teachers and developing new leaders. Mr. Atkins is now a Real Estate Broker with Blair White Realtors.
For his professional and civic accomplishments, Mr. Atkins was awarded the “Outstanding Texan Award” by the Texas legislature Black Caucus in March, 2001. In December, 2004, the University of North Texas concluded its yearlong celebration of its 50th anniversary of desegregation by recognizing Mr. Atkins, “barrier breaking alumnus” by awarding him a doctor of humane letters degree at the fall university commencement ceremony.
On October 8, 2005, Dr. Atkins received the Texas NAACP 2005 Heroes Award for heroic deeds and service in advancing the cause of civil rights, liberty and justice. Dr. Atkins also received the Maurine F. Bailey Cultural Foundation Award in 2007 for community service.
Dr. Atkins is a member of the Dallas Police Chief Advisory Committee, the Dallas Public Schools Advisory Committee and Vice-Chair of the Public Education Committee, DFW Realtors. Dr. Atkins is a Board Member of the African American Museum, Co-Chair of the Educators Achieves and History Project and Chairman of the Good Street Baptist Church Federal Credit Union.