We Exist Series 2: Audio Recordings
Activism and Civil Rights: Mrs. Joanna Boley-Lee McKenzie


Activism and Civil Rights: Mrs. Joanna Boley-Lee McKenzie



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Mrs. Joanna Boley-Lee McKenzie, (age 66; born 1937 in Newark, New Jersey; lived in Maine for 8.5 years

Maureen Elgersman-Lee: "Now, how does -- how do you go from being a flight attendant to being -- working in affirmative action at -- at an institution with, um, Bates kind of stature in the academia?"

Mrs. Joanna Boley-Lee McKenzie: "You know, people ask me how did you do this. So I tell them when I was a flight attendant I was interested in traveling internationally and that's why I did that. Um, when I finished doing that, I worked as an art teacher. All of my work as an art teacher was done with teaching students art forms of other cultures. So if we did print making, our designs were connected with designs from other cultures. We would do, um, urn, pieces of art that were directly from those cultures such as weaving that are worn by Guatemalan women and Adinkra cloth which is a cloth in Ghana. So that it was all culturally based. And, ah, so when I went into affirmative action what I did was I put that part of my life together with my years spent in the civil rights movement which, urn, really prepared me more for my job than my teaching. But, uh, I believe since affirmative action is moving close to, uh, dealing with diversity, uh, the cultural pieces have been easily transferred into what I do as well."

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Activism and Civil Rights: Mrs. Joanna Boley-Lee McKenzie