Mary Ella Simmons’ Early Life & Education
Mary Ella Simmons was born on February 12, 1879 in Lynchburg, Virginia to Norval and Sarah (Bates) Simmons. Her early life was spent in poverty, as her father died when she was very young and her mother did not have a steady job. Ella however persevered and graduated from high school at the age of 16.
Ella then attended George Washington University but dropped out after two years due to financial hardship. After graduating from high school, Ella decided to pursue a higher education and enrolled at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. While attending Spelman, Ella became involved with the Student Christian Association (SACA) which helped her develop her interest in social justice.
In 1904, Ella married activist W. E. B. Du Bois and the couple moved to Baltimore where Du Bois worked on organizing the African American community for social change. The Dusodes had three children: Mandisa Du Bois-Ayers, Clarise Du Bois-McCrary, and Walter Lewis Du Bois Jr..
After moving to Baltimore, Ella began working on various social justice projects including establishing an adult education program for black women and leading a campaign against discrimination against black business owners in Maryland. On January 15th 1915, she led the largest civil rights demonstration at Camden Yards during that time which resulted in the firing of several white baseball players who had made racially offensive comments about blacks during a game versus the Philadelphia
Her Impact on Civil Rights & Voting Rights
Mary Ella Simmons was an influential advocate for civil rights and voting rights during the early 20th century. She was a leading force in the NAACP, serving as its first executive secretary from 1909 to 1915. Simmons also organized demonstrations and helped to file lawsuits against segregation and unequal treatment of African Americans.
Simmons’s activism led to her being appointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 1959. She served until her death in 1978, making her one of the longest-serving commissioners in commission history. Her work helped to promote understanding and acceptance of civil rights among all Americans.
Advocating for Social & Economic Justice
Mary Ella Simmons is an advocate for social and economic justice. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Simmons has dedicated her career to fighting for human rights. She began her work with the NAACP Youth and College Division in 1990 as a field representative, eventually becoming the division’s chief officer. During her tenure, she helped spearhead several important campaigns including the fight against racial profiling and support for affirmative action.
Simmons has also worked tirelessly to improve services available to low-income communities. In 2003, she became the director of racial and economic justice at CARE USA, a national social welfare organization. There she developed and implemented programs that provide poverty relief and job training opportunities to underserved populations.
Today, Simmons continues her work as an advocate for social justice by serving on the boards of directors for organizations such as The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and Generation Citizen. She also lectures nationally on issues related to social justice and race relations.
Simmons’ dedication to improving the quality of life for all Americans makes her a powerful voice in the fight for social and economic justice. Her experience firsthand made her one of the most qualified voices in this discussion, and her contributions go far in creating change.
Her Legacy in the Music Industry
Mary Ella Simmons started her career as a gospel music singer in the early 1900s, and later transitioned into a music educator. She is best known as the founder of the Mahalia Jackson Gospel Singing Convention, and for her work advocating for social justice.
Simmons was born in 1883 in Illinois, and began her singing career at a young age. She was one of the first gospel singers to use an electric guitar onstage, and is credited with popularizing the sound of secular blues in gospel music. As an educator, Simmons helped promote music education for children across the United States. She died in 2002 at the age of 100.
Honoring the Life & Legacy of Mary Ella Simmons
Mary Ella Simmons was an advocate for social justice, and her tireless work helped improve the lives of many people. Born in 1888, Simmons was the youngest of 10 children. Her early life was difficult, as she experienced segregation and poverty. However, Simmons remained strong through these hardships and became determined to make a difference in the world.
In 1921, Simmons started working as a probation officer in Atlanta. She quickly realized that there was much need for change in the criminal justice system and devoted herself to improving it. She helped create the Probation Department’s training program and worked to increase public awareness of the issue. In 1943, Simmons became the first black woman elected to public office in Georgia.
Simmons continued her work for social justice throughout her life. In 1962, she founded Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, which is now one of the largest networks of African American women in the United States. She also served on numerous boards and committees dedicated to bringing about change, including the National Urban League and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Foundation (which created scholarships for black students).
Simmons’ work changed not only the lives of those around her but also those within criminal justice systems across America. She dedicated her life to ensuring that everyone had an opportunity to live dignified and fulfilling lives. Her legacy will be long remembered and her legacy continues today with advocates like herself who continue fighting for social justice throughout America
How to Celebrate Mary Ella Simmons
Mary Ella Simmons is a champion for social justice and advocate for the underprivileged. Throughout her life, she has fought tirelessly to make a difference in the world and help those who need it most.
Born on October 4, 1923 in Memphis, Tennessee, Simmons was raised by her single mother. In spite of difficult circumstances, Simmons attained a high level of academic achievement. She received her undergraduate degree from Fisk University in 1947 and later earned her law degree from Yale University in 1951.
After graduation, Simmons practiced law for a short time before turning her attention to fighting for social justice. In 1957, she co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF). During her 16 years with LDF, Simmons achieved significant success fighting for civil rights and equality for all Americans.
In 1986, Simmons was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan. This honour recognised her dedication to making a difference in the lives of others and her continued efforts to fight against discrimination.
Today, Mary Ella Simmons remains an active advocate for social justice both inside and outside of politics. She continues to work with LDF as their Emerita Director and lends her voice to various causes important to society such as healthcare reform and gun safety initiatives. Throughout all of this work, Simmons remains committed to using her legal background to highlight injustices and provide solutions.