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D. Janelle Kennedy

Grants Coordinator
Hometown: Escondido, CA

Janelle has a passion for social justice and fairness in the global community. Her commitment to this ideal manifested in her work as a paralegal in Hawaii working for fair credit reporting laws. After relocating to Fredericksburg, Virginia, Janelle joined the staff at the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center where she sought to inspire justice through her support of art and story at the Museum. While at the museum, Janelle worked as the volunteer coordinator, development assistant, and, most recently, as the education coordinator where she developed programs that used art education to confront historic and current injustices in her community. In an effort to expand the program’s reach to marginalized communities, Janelle began writing grants to fund scholarships for low income students.

In 2015, Janelle took a leap of faith at an opportunity to reduce her carbon footprint and bought a vintage sailboat to live aboard while undertaking its restoration. She apprenticed with a marine engineering company and learned the basics of sailing, marine electrical and mechanical maintenance, solar and wind power technologies, woodworking and varnishing, and crewed several coastal and offshore deliveries. In the summertime, Janelle teaches sailing in down east Maine and is working toward her Mate’s license through the US Coast Guard. Janelle also writes and edits articles for maritime publications.

Janelle holds BAs in Philosophy and American Studies from the University of Mary Washington, formerly Mary Washington College. She graduated cum laude and was the honors graduate in the American Studies department where she focused her studies on the political and cultural causes of the Civil War and the War’s lingering legacy. For her academic contributions in the civil rights field and her stated career goals, Janelle was awarded the James Farmer scholarship and was elected president of the college’s Phi Alpha Theta chapter.

When not at work, Janelle can be found at Fred’s Theatre where she acts, sells tickets, cultivates donors, cleans floors, or performs one of the other multitudes of jobs needed to ensure the show goes on! If Janelle had one piece of advice to give the world, it would be to find your creative self and nurture it.

What is your hidden talent?

Story telling. Though it's not that hidden, I speak in story.

What punctuation mark would you be and why?

A question mark. I am never satisfied and always want to know more.

What is your favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

Sailing in 10 knot winds off the coast of Maine.

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