Odessa's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Why Not Us

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Birmingham, AL

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Why Not Us

ODESSA WOOLFOLK

Founding President
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

“I don't think anybody who has been successful has had a pain-free life. Pain, embarrassment, falling on your face--those are motivators.”

INTERESTS:

Non-Profit Organizations Politics

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Choices Courage Education Values Conflict Self-Reflection Culture Beliefs & Faith

FOUNDATION:

Upholding a Cause and Belief

TAGS:

birmingham, bravery, civil rights movement, consequences, discrimination, family, helping others, jail, memory, minorities, monuments, motivation, pain, racism, revolution, segregation, spiritual, student, success, teacher

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Discrimination was a daily part of life when she was growing up in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Hometown nicknamed "Bombingham" because of the consequences for anyone questioning the status quo.
  • Studied history and political science at Talladega College and earned a master's in urban studies.
  • Interested in teaching from a young age; taught high school at the height of civil rights movement.
  • Worked in public policy and top-level administration in New York and Washington D.C.
  • Taught at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, where a community service award is named for her.
  • Helped create the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
  • Says: You owe it to yourself to figure out how you can make it better for the next generation.

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