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Joanne Bland (born July 29 in Selma, Alabama) is the co-founder and former director of the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma, Alabama. Bland was a highly active participant in the Civil Rights Movement from her earliest days, and was the youngest person to have been jailed during any civil rights demonstration during that period.
Bland began her activism in 1961, attending a freedom and voters' rights meeting presided over by Martin Luther King Jr. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) members active in Selma organized local teenagers to participate in the movement, including marching on "Bloody Sunday" and "Turn Around Tuesday". On "Bloody Sunday", March 7, 1965, Bland witnessed fellow activists being beaten by the police and Alabama State Troopers.
Bland remains active in several local and regional organizations, including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP, the Sunflower Project, Ladies With A Mission, and her church, Ward Chapel in Prattville, Alabama. She has spoken at conferences and workshops for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and in the states of Maine, Wisconsin, Vermont, Minnesota, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, South Carolina, and throughout Alabama.
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