Dr. L.C. Dorsey, one of seven children, grew up as a sharecropper in the Mississippi Delta community of Tribbett (Washington County). Dr. Dorsey received her early education at plantation schools and dropped out of high school after eleventh grade to get married and start a family. Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer recruited her into the movement and in 1964. Dr. Dorsey started to work for Operation Head Start as a Community Development Specialist. Beginning in 1966 she became involved in a new program, Operation Help, with the mission to obtain jobs and assistance those in need. At this time Dr. Dorsey became involved with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) and helped to initiate boycotts and public demonstrations.
In 1968 she completed her high school education by obtaining her GED from Tufts University's STAR (Systematic Training and Redevelopment) Program and then a Master's degree in Social Work from Stony Brook University in New York, a Certificate in Health Management from Johns Hopkins University, and a Doctorate in Social Work from Howard University.
In 1973, Dr. Dorsey returned to Mississippi and began work as Director of Social Services for the Mid-Delta Head Start Program in Greenville. She served as Associate Director of the Southern Coalition on Jails and Prisons from 1974 to 1983. Due to her work within the prison system, she served on President Jimmy Carter's National Council for Economic Opportunity from 1978 to 1979.
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