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501c3 nonprofit organization
ARK of REFUGE,Inc
December 20, 1935 - November 16, 2011
"Hey (Grand)ma, I love you....."
" I Love You More, baby."
- ATLENA WEST
The Buried Truth
First African - American Woman
out of Louisiana to
Run for State Senate of Utah.
As a black, single-parent mother Atlena West defied all odds in the best way, at the most controversial time. The cornerstone of Atlena's campaign was the Bologna sandwich. Atlena used her own government-provided cheese to fuel her campaign.
As she would canvass on foot, Atlena passed out brown paper bag lunches. Fully equipped with a slice of government cheese, two pieces of white bread, and mayonnaise, Atlena made sure you were good and full before informed.
Her campaign focused on community development, food distribution programs, and educational support for youth. Atlena West is The Ark of Refuge's Maria Montessori.
For the sacrifices, she bore and her communal contributions, she will forever be remembered through us.
WE LOVE YOU MORE ATLENA!
Walking in the Shoes of Atlena West
Born to the late Pearl and John West in Casabana , Louisiana, Atlena was the youngest of twelve children. Atlena grew up in Fryson, Louisiana and graduated from Boldger Pass Training School in 1947. She then moved to Benton, Lousiana with her Sister, Pastor Inez Ashford. Atlena drove cabs in Louisiana for two years then she moved to Salt Lake City, Utah where she worked as a community activist ,later becoming the first black woman to run for State Senate .
At the time Atlena ran, racism was thriving. Let us reflect on the 1950's
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