Journey to Justice


Due to coronavirus, we were in Birmingham for just one of the three months planned (February 2020). We developed new partnerships, had a great launch, worked with local schools and welcomed 100s of visitors to our exhibition.

Thanks everyone, especially our friends at the Library of Birmingham – see you soon!


Feedback from staff at Harper Bell Seventh Day Adventist School, Birmingham who came to the exhibition with a group of Year 5 students before the lockdown.

“As a young black woman it is very relevant to learn about what people like me went through.”

 “I have a greater awareness of untold stories, they were very relevant to our curriculum.”

 “The exhibition makes me more likely to educate children about civil rights.”

“I will get involved in social justice work by doing curriculum design and education, volunteering and reading more about the social injustices around our areas.”

 “JtoJ helps people to understand that there is a need to come together to work together for the betterment of us all.”


Feedback from Year 9 students at John Willmott School, Birmingham after JtoJ workshops (pre lockdown).

Who inspires you and why?

“Freddie Mercury – For never giving up and continuing his career with Queen even though he received hate for being gay”

 “Dave – because he wrote a song called ‘black’ and it talked about something I could relate to”

 “My mom (half of all students named a family member) –  because she gets paid minimum wage and she works as a forklift driver, she supports the whole family”

“My dad – because he helps and cares for everyone but himself”

 “Corrie Ten Boom – because she protected Jews from the Nazis”


What did you learn today?

“To be respectful”

 “Not to be racist”

 “Everyone gets treated differently and they shouldn’t”

 “In this lesson I have learnt that anyone can make a change or difference as long as you are willing to do what is right”

“Don’t judge a person by what they look like/appearance”

“I learned all the hardships people have been through to have rights”

“To treat others the way you want to be treated”

“I learnt to fight for what you believe is right”

“I have really enjoyed the session. It has really given me food for thought and the courage for me to fight for what is right for some of our students”

“You don’t have to be famous to become a hero”

 “Not all people have to be popular to be a hero. The heroes are all around us”

“That ordinary people can make a difference”

“I learnt that everyone can make a difference”

“Be treated the way you wanna be treated”

“This lesson has taught me never to give up in whatever situation”

“I have learnt how people can change things by doing little things”

“Everyone matters”


US civil rights worker from Birmingham, Alabama is coming to Birmingham, UK (postponed due to COVID-19)

Hear Janice Kelsey speak, on the anniversary of the assassination of MLK, April 4th.

Policemen lead a group of Black school children into jail in Birmingham, Alabama on May 4, 1963. © AP/

Janice will be the main speaker at Journey to Justice: Two Birminghams on April 4th afternoon. We are delighted to be invited by Senior Pastor Jonathan Jackson and the congregation at the New Testament Church of God The Rock in Springhill. She will be joined by local performance artists and speakers including Councillor John Cotton, Abdullah Rehman and Dr Angela Moran. We will celebrate Dr King’s life and focus on the evils of racism and poverty which he identified and are still so evident today. We ask: what can we all do about them?

Janice’s story is one of many told along with others from the US, UK and West Midlands in Journey to Justice, a travelling exhibition about the role of ‘ordinary’ women, men and children in the US civil rights movement and its impact on the UK. The exhibition is at the Library of Birmingham (LOB) until April 27th. As relevant today as ever, with music, art, poetry, films and oral history, it shows how change can be led by anyone:

“It is an honour to be exhibited as a part of history and provided with an opportunity to share my story with children in Birmingham, UK.  It was a journey shared by thousands of youth who marched for freedom during the spring of 1963. Today, the struggle continues. Young people need to be informed by hearing the realities of the past. Hopefully, they will be able to relate and learn from the past as a catalyst for change in a peaceful manner today.”   Janice Kelsey

Tickets for the April 4th event at The Rock are free and available to all but booking is essential:

Event details: 2-5pm at NTCG, The Rock, George St West, Springhill, Birmingham B18 7HF: 
Exhibition runs: until 27th April 2020 at the Library of Birmingham.
Opening hours:

About Janice Kelsey and her book I Woke Up With My Mind on Freedom 

Journey to Justice is grateful for the support of the Harry Payne Fund

Feedback – The Launch 07/02/20

It was an amazing evening and very inspiring. Thank you for inviting me to be part of it. 

It is an excellent exhibition – just what is needed at this time to revitalise the need to keep shouting about injustices, while the artists and the campaigners show us what justice could look like. I love what you are doing and will make sure people get to see the exhibition.

I was completely spellbound by the launch. Congratulations on the most wonderful, inspiring event. The line-up was sensational. Thanks for all your hard work bringing this to Birmingham. I will set about spreading the word and will return to peruse properly at the earliest opportunity.

Councillor John Cotton (Cabinet member, Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities) spoke about the Birmingham’s long history of involvement with action for freedom and rights and its relevance for today. Read his blog: and his Tweet after the event: “Fantastic night at the launch of the @JtoJustice exhibition @LibraryofBham. It’s a superb, moving and utterly inspiring display. Here until April 27th and it’s not to be missed!”


The Launch, Friday February 7th 6-8pm at the Library of Birmingham, Broad St, B1 2ND

On Friday 7th February at the Library of Birmingham, saxophonist Soweto Kinch, gospel duet Samantha Jones and Markell, actor/director Tonia Daley-Campbell and social/community activist Duncan Moore will welcome Journey to Justice, the UK’s first major exhibition about the role of ‘ordinary’ women, men and children in the US civil rights movement and its impact on the UK.

We are delighted to announce that educator and playwright Don Kinch will cut the exhibition ribbon at the launch. Speakers also include Councillor John Cotton, Manjit Shellis from Birmingham Education Partnership and Mark Hutchinson on behalf of Journey to Justice.

The multimedia exhibition has been seen by 177,000 people in 14 places including Newcastle, Sheffield, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Liverpool, London, Leicester, Bristol and Dorset. With music, art, poetry, films and oral history, it is free to visit during library opening hours February 7th– April 27th.

Free admission but booking essential. 

View the Press release

For group bookings email:

Local stories of social justice and human rights

As relevant today as ever, the exhibition also tells less told stories of struggles for human rights in the West Midlands. Birmingham has an extraordinary history of immigration and solidarity in the face of injustice. The exhibition will highlight local stories: the Sparkbrook Association, a community-led campaign for decent housing and playgroups and workers’ struggles for rights and decent conditions; the Supreme Quilting and Burnsall strikes, led by determined Asian women in Smethwick; the remarkable stories of trade union leader Will Thorneand Irish musician Luke Kelly, whose activism was shaped by their working lives here; and the visit of Malcolm X to Birmingham.

Women workers from Supreme Quilting, Smethwick on the picket line, November 1982. Photo: Derek Bishton

To see Birmingham JtoJ stories visit:

School visits

We are delighted to be working with a range of primary and secondary schools – both in the classroom and at the exhibition. See schools’ flyer to discuss bookings and visits

US civil rights worker from Birmingham, Alabama is coming to Birmingham in April

Janice Kelsey was 14 when she joined the 1963 ‘Children’s March’ against racism in Birmingham, Alabama. Her story is one of many from the US civil rights movement told in the exhibition. Janice and her daughter Katrice are flying specially to Birmingham to be the main speaker at a celebration event on April 4th, the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination. We will discuss what we can do about racism, poverty and war, the issues he highlighted and which are still with us today. Come to the NTCG The Rock, George Street West, Springhill, Birmingham B18 7HF from 14.00-17.00

Huge thanks to The Heart of England Community Foundation for their support

With thanks to our funders & supporters & all our partners in Birmingham and the West Midlands