Students who spoke on the impact of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. during a gathering in his honor, heard from one woman whose own life has largely been dedicated to the same work.
Dezie Woods-Jones, a longtime civil rights activist, spoke before more than 120 people, including elected officials, during the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration.
The first woman to run for mayor of the city of Oakland, Woods-Jones served in various political positions on the city council, including vice mayor, and worked in several administrative positions for more than three decades in Oakland’s Peralta Community College District, where she finally retired in 2002 as the assistant chancellor of external affairs. She is now the president and CEO of DWJ & Associates consulting firm.
But during her keynote speech Sunday, Woods-Jones mostly talked about her volunteer work in the civil rights movement led by King. She started getting involved while still in high school, and later left her college studies to become active full-time.