Sol Thea Kelley-Jones is an activist, artist, community organizer, and youth development professional with a long history of working between and within communities of difference to foster partnerships, build coalitions for social change, and implement creative interventions. A graduate of Hampshire College with a degree in Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Art and UW-Milwaukee with a Masters in Sustainable Peacebuilding, Sol has years of experience in program development and management, service delivery, and advocacy alongside those often relegated to the margins from LGBTQ+ young people to undocumented immigrants, from survivors of intimate partner violence to families living under military occupation. Passionately committed to creatively working for greater equity and justice, Sol brings with her extensive experience engaging in conflict transformation and justice-making work with communities and individuals facing state, political, and structural violence, as well as the violences of racism, homophobia, transphobia, poverty, policing, homelessness, and housing and food insecurity.
As an arts as intervention practitioner, Sol has worked for over 16 years to use theater as a tool to critically examine conflict, incite dialog, creatively investigate and devise solutions, and initiate healing and community education. On local, national, and international levels, Sol has collaborated with community leaders, local organizations, and those who have faced systemic violence to create and implement culturally relevant, innovative arts-based community development, conflict engagement and empowerment programming from refugee camps in the Middle East to the militarized U.S. Mexico borderlands, from the coast of East Africa to a diversity of Wisconsin communities.
Sol continues her passion for fusing art, activism, and youth leadership development through her work with Proud Theater, an LGBTQ+ youth theater and advocacy organization that she co-founded in 1999. Sol is committed to nurturing youth and community voice and artistic uprisings and engaging in the life-long, and interconnected, struggle for racial, economic, environmental, gender, and queer justice.