Jo Ann Bland & Mary Liuzzo Lilleboe: Their Civil Rights Journey
Friday, January 19
Shabbat Services, One Family Shabbat
Following services (7:15 PM approx.)
Join us for a special presentation by Jo Ann Bland & Mary Liuzzo Lilleboe
The Journey to Civil Rights: Their Personal Narratives
Jo Ann Bland: 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 60s. 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. 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, Virginia, West Virginia, 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 educational tour on the Civil Rights tours with a major focus on Selma, Alabama.
Mary Liuzzo Lilleboe: Mary Liuzzo Lilleboe has been immersed in the Civil Rights Movement since her mother’s, Viola Gregg Liuzzo, murder by the KKK in 1965 while participating in the Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March. Through the years, Mary realized that her mother’s death, not her life, had overshadowed everything she did. In a quest to feel close to the mother she lost and to celebrate her life, Mary traveled through the South talking to the people that her mother spent the last days of her life with.
As she learned of her mother’s activities in Selma and rediscovered the woman who raised her, she also learned the stories of the people her mother went to Selma to help. The people of the movement embraced and nurtured Mary. They mentored her, and her life’s path was determined.
Mary sheds light on the true history of this movement through the stories of the people who lived them. She brings the 1960s Civil Rights Movement to life through her very personal and unique perspective.
Annually, Mary Liuzzo Lilleboe returns to join those who commemorate the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. She is active in Civil and Human rights education and awareness. She is the National Outreach Coordinator of The Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island, where she earned her certification as a trainer of Kingian Nonviolence. Mary is dedicated to bringing forward the blueprint of nonviolent conflict resolution left us by Dr. King, her mother and the foot soldiers of the movement. She speaks at events and rallies, schools and churches, Universities and organizations, and government agencies. She has told her story in documentaries to radio and television audiences around the world. Mary represents an important part of the continuing struggle for justice and equality in America.
Open to the Community