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125th Anniversary Celebration, 1978.

 File — Box: 1

Scope and Contents

This folder contains materials created/collected by Jesse Nelson Alexander, Jr., born August 19, 1928 in Somerset, Kentucky. Alexander's involvement with the YMCA dates from 1946, when he was recruited as a youth leader for the Chestnut Street YMCA in Louisville, Kentucky. His YMCA career took him from Louisville to Chicago; Brooklyn, New York; and Washington, D.C. where he served in various roles including youth leader, young adult and adult leader, personnel officer, conference planner, trainer, consultant, and an executive at local and national YMCA headquarters. In 1968, Alexander helped organize the National Conference of Black and Non-white YMCA Volunteers and Staff (BAN-WYS), a group dedicated to supporting all efforts to overcome racism in the YMCA and to assuring that YMCA units continued to exist in non-white communities, and served as its executive director and advisor. He joined the staff of the national board in 1969, when he was appointed Associate Executive Director for Black and Non-White Concerns. His role in this position was to act as a kind of ombudsman to address concerns identified by BAN-WYS, as well as to provide leadership to YMCAs serving minority communities, and mediation in interracial and intraracial conflicts. In 1973, he became director of the Board's Human Rights Unit and the National YMCA's Affirmative Action Officer. He organized and directed the 1978 international observances of the 125th anniversary of the founding of the first YMCA in an African American community.He was director of the YMCA National Youth Governors Conferences in Washington D.C., and a delegate to the 6th World Council of YMCAs in Kampala, Uganda in 1973. After retiring from the YMCA's national board in 1981, Alexander joined the national staff of the United Church of Christ in New York City, but continued to be involved in the YMCA as a volunteer.


  • Creation: 1978.


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Use of Materials:

This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright, ownership, and to obtain all the necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.