Research & Scholarship image

Special Collections and Archives


General Information

Kathy Kelly is an American peace activist. She is one of the founding members of Voices in the Wilderness and she is heavily involved with the similar organization Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Kathy Kelly has spent much of her life protesting sanctions on Iraq following the Gulf War as well as promoting peace and nonviolence.

Kathy Kelly was born in 1953 in Chicago in which she attended St. Paul-Kennedy High School, which was a shared time school. She earned her B.A. at Loyola University and at that time she worked many night jobs to help her cover tuition. She earned her Masters Degree in Religious Education at Chicago.

Over sixty delegations to Iraq have been led by Kathy Kelly as a means to protest the sanctions imposed upon the country by the United States following the Gulf War. Many of these were incorporated by Voices in the Wilderness, an organization co-founded by Kathy Kelly to protest the Iraq sanctions. Voices in the Wilderness and Kathy Kelly delivered food and medicine to children and people in need in Iraq. These delegations were performed under threat of jail time, as delivering food and medicine materials was illegal due to the sanctions.

Kathy Kelly continued her activism for peace with the organization Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Founded in 2005, the organization has helped to promote peace and nonviolence across the globe. In recent times, Kathy Kelly has been travelling to Afghanistan, as well as protesting the use of drones in combat. Kathy Kelly is known for being a public speaker as well as the author of many books including Other Lands Have Dreams: From Iraq to Pekin Prison, and Raising Voices: The Children of Iraq 1990-1999 which was published in Anthony Arngrove's Iraq Under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War.

Kathy Kelly is currently in prison due to her actions in protest of drone warfare.



Voices for Creative Nonviolence