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Special Collections and Archives

KATHY KELLY

Biographical Note



Correspondence, subject files, writings, and other records of a Chicago-based peace activist who cofounded Voices in the Wilderness/Voices for Creative Nonviolence in 1996, and has anchored its leadership team from the beginning. Kelly has spent much of her life promoting nonviolent initiatives for peace and justice in war zones. Her peacemaking efforts in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Haiti, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, and Lebanon have led to numerous honors and her continuing nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. She has been arrested on several occasions for acts of nonviolent resistance to US military policy, including planting corn on missile silo sites in Missouri in 1988, for which she was sentenced to one year in federal prison. Kelly has spoken extensively and is the author of Other Lands Have Dreams: From Iraq to Pekin Prison and many articles and blog posts.

Related material is in the Voices in the Wilderness Records in this repository.

Gift of Kathy Kelly, 2005.

Processed by Luke Frommelt and Phil Runkel, 2015-2017.

Scope and Content

Series 1, General Correspondence, 1977-2008, contains incoming (1) and outgoing (2) correspondence with associates, friends, and family members, including Kathy Kelly's former husband, Karl Meyer. The subseries are arranged by correspondent and date, respectively.

Series 2, Peace Campaign Files, 1984-2010, includes correspondence, reports, and published information pertaining to peacemaking initiatives in which Kelly participated. The Missouri Peace Planting (1988), Gulf Peace Team (1990-1991) and Walk for a Peaceful Future in the Middle East (1992) are especially well documented. The series is arranged alphabetically by location, subject, or name of the action.

Series 3, Biographical Information Files, 1978-2012, contains information on education, employment and honors received, along with newspaper articles generated by Kelly's activities. The series is arranged alphabetically by topic or type of record, and then in chronological order.

Series 4, Writings, 1987-2011, includes manuscripts and published articles by KK.

Series 5, Audio/Visual Recordings, 1992-2009, contains recordings of a small number of interviews of KK on public radio stations (including one in which she appeared with Marquette University professor John McAdams) and several talks.