Janice Wesley Kelsey

Janice Kelsey grew up in Birmingham, Alabama at the height of segregation, attending an all black school and church. She began attending mass meetings hosted by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and was influenced by the sermons of James Bevel. Kelsey grew to understand the inequities between her school and the nearby white schools and decided to march in the Children’s Crusade in 1963. She lost a dear friend when 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed on September 15th of the same year. She went on to get a Masters and Educational Specialist Degrees in Counseling from the University of Alabama. After years as a teacher, counselor and principal, she retired from Birmingham Board of Ed. She is now an independent educational consultant, working with the African American Studies program at UAB, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and United way of Central Alabama.

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