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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dale Kelley

Ever since I was a student in High School ( eons ago!) I have been involved in “social justice issues”.  In college (University of Delaware) I was involved in “lunch counter sit-ins” in support of African American students, and was involved with supporting food banks as well as support of shelters for the homeless.

My university degree was in Biology, as I had hoped to go to medical school ... but when the Admission officers heard I wanted to be a doctor in Africa, they flipped out .. said they would be totaling wasting their education on me!  So much for that! This was in 1963… So much has changed since then!  Gratefully!

I became a Med-Tech instead, then married, and raised two daughters, who are carrying on the “family tradition” of working for social justice organizations – The Humane Society of the US, and Greenpeace, International.

In 1989 I graduated from seminary and have been an ordained minister since that time.  The two denominations that I serve ( United Methodist and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), have both taken stands against the Death Penalty, though not all the “people in those pews” agree with this position.

It was a privilege for me to have had the opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of “Alaskans Against the Death Penalty” for two years,  and able to actively lobby the state legislature against the return of the death penalty (in force prior to statehood in 1959).  I was thrilled to have encouraged Sister Helen Prejean’s visit to the AK legislature, which turned the tide and the bill was defeated in committee!

Since my retirement from “active ministry” in 2011, I am now living in a “death penalty state”
(Washington) and am anxious to get involved with groups here working to end it - an uphill battle, I am sure – but then, where isn’t it an “uphill” battle!?

My heart and soul are in this effort, and I have invited spokes-persons (Bill Pelke and Kathy Harris, and others) to address my congregations on this issue … have addressed the AK State-wide meetings of the Presbyterian Church,  as well as addressed committees of the United Methodist Church in Alaska, and have signed numerous petitions, written letters, etc - all aimed at abolishing the DP.  I will continue to do this as long as I have breath and energy to do so ! 

Facts

Board member Journey of Hope 2012-
Board, Alaska Children’s Services, Spiritual Life Committee  2008 – 2010
Board, Alaska Christian Conference 2008 – present
Board, Unalaskans Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence 2005 – 2007
Board, Friends of the Library,  Unalaska Library, Ak,  2006 - present
Board, Trustees of the Alaska Missionary Conference,  V. P.  2004 - present
Board,  PFLAG, Kenai/Soldotna Chapter,  ‘00 – ‘05
Board,  Kenai Center for Mediation and Community Dialogue,  01 - 2003
Board,  Kenai Habitat for Humanity  99 - 01
Board,  Alaskans Against the Death Penalty  ‘97 - 2003
Board,  Priory Wood Day Care Center, Olympia, WA '84 - 90, President,  '88 - '90
Board - Assoc. Ministries of Thurston Co., WA, VP for Social Concerns, '84 -'86
Washington Association of Churches Hunger Task Force, Seattle, WA,  '82 - '85
Board,  Christians Equipped for Ministry, Olympia, WA,  '80 - '86