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Julia Tutwiler
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    (August 15, 1841-March 24, 1916)
    Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Alabama prison reform advocate
    Founded two universities
    Promoted civil rights for blacks and women
    Attended Vassar College and Washington and Lee University
    Member of the Alabama Hall of Fame and charter member of the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame
    She was the third of eleven children born to a well to do Tuscaloosa family
    She was a poor businesswoman, which led to her being fired from at least one job.
    She wrote the sappy 'official' state song of Alabama, which believe it or not, is not 'Sweet Home Alabama.'
    She has a women's prison named after her.
    In a world where Yassir Arafat can receive the Nobel Peace prize, she has received almost no official recognition outside of Alabama for her work.
    Her middle name was Sturdick.
    She supported numerous prison reforms in Alabama including better food and sanitation, separating juveniles from adults, and separate prisons for men and women.
    She helped end the convict lease program where convicts were rented out as laborers to farmers.
    She supported equal education for girls and boys and has been called the 'Mother of co-education in Alabama.
    She founded the schools that were to become the University of West Alabama and the University of Montevallo.
    She promoted technical training for prisoners and poor blacks.
    She did all this while maintaining a sterling reputation as a gracious and well mannered lady. A reputation without which she would never have been able to accomplish what she did.
    After she retired, the state of Alabama canceled her pension.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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