Juanita Jones Abernathy is a dynamic and thought provoking speaker who exudes an aura and presence of positive energy wherever she goes. From her house being bombed by violent hate groups to her husband’s numerous arrests during the civil rights movement, she captures the spirit of the African American fight for freedom and human dignity.
Mrs. Abernathy has touched thousands of people around the world with her message of hope, empowerment, and justice for all. Her work and personal sacrifices throughout the revolutionary civil rights movement have inextricably connected her to a lifelong struggle in pursuit of human rights and peace around the world.
A native of Uniontown, Alabama, Mrs. Abernathy received her elementary and high school education at the famed Selma University, a boarding school located in Selma, Alabama. Mrs. Abernathy continued her education by earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education at Tennessee State University.
A former high school teacher specializing in a business curriculum, Mrs. Abernathy’s business acumen has yielded her success in numerous entrepreneurial ventures. She rose to become a Senior Sales Director in Mary Kay Cosmetics and successfully maintained a top position in the corporation for nearly twenty years.
As the widow of Rev. Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, the closest associate to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she became pivotally involved in the civil rights movement from the inception of the Montgomery bus boycott. For much of her life her work has taken her throughout the world working for justice and equality for all.
Mrs. Abernathy continues to volunteer her time for numerous civic and religious organizations, including Board of Directors and Secretary for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority; Board of Trustees of the Morehouse School of Religion; Board of Directors for the Ralph David Abernathy Towers and Ralph David Abernathy Foundation. She served as the former Board of Director and Treasurer of the Fulton County Development Authority; Board of Directors of the Atlanta-Fulton County League of Women Voters and former member of the Citizen Panel Review Board for the Development of Family and Childrens Services.
Mrs. Abernathy is the proud mother of four children and four grandchildren.
Mrs Abernathy has been a treasured friend and mentor to Carole Copeland Thomas since the early 1970s.