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Joanne Bland  

Civil and Human Rights Activist

During her lifetime she has been a witness and participant in some of our nation’s most consequential civil rights battles. She began her civil rights activism in the early 60's. The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) activists organized Bland and other area children and teenagers to participate in the civil rights movement. In the front lines of the struggle, the young Bland marched on ""Bloody Sunday"" and ""Turn Around Tuesday,"" and the first leg of the successful March from Selma to Montgomery, witnessing brutal beatings of fellow marchers by police. The young Bland was also one of seven Black students to integrate A. G. Parish High School. By the time she was 11 years old Bland had been arrested 13 times. Ms. Bland’s early involvement in the struggle against “Jim Crow”, American apartheid, has been the foundation for her civil and human rights work throughout her life.

A much sought after speaker with a compelling personal story of civil rights activism, Ms. Bland has presented at conferences and workshops from the Smithsonian in Washington, DC to the states Maine, Wisconsin, Vermont, Minnesota, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Iowa, Mississippi, Washington, Oregon and, of course, throughout Alabama. Currently, Mrs. Bland is owner and operator of Journeys For The Soul, a touring agency that specializes in Civil Rights tours with a major focus on Selma, Alabama.

Speech Topics


Civil Rights, Activism, Black Heritage, University Speaker

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