Keys, Vernon J., Ms., 1926-

Biography:

Beginning in 1965, Ms. Keys worked with the Coahoma Opportunities, Inc. (COI), a community action agency designed to improve the economic position of the poor of Coahoma County, Mississippi. Topics discussed include Keys' background; the establishment of Southern Educational Recreational Association (SERA), Head Start, Jesse Epps; the establishment of Community Action Agency (CAP), Head Start; the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC); Head Start outreach services; Keys' involvement in Coahoma Opportunities, Inc. (COI); the establishment of Legal Aid and Neighborhood Service Centers; Clarksdale, Mississippi from 1945 to 1965; White reaction to changes generated by Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts; the affects of the changes generated by the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts on the African-American community; federal poverty guidelines; participation of the poor in COI programs; White participation in COI programs; Migrant Workers program; Adult Base Education; who benefitted most from COI-sponsored programs; the Neighborhood Youth Corps, Upward Bound, Mainstream; Keys' assessment of the greatest impact of COI; and the downside to the COI programs, especially Head Start.

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