Marquita Bradshaw, Executive Director


Marquita Bradshaw knows firsthand what is at stake if people do not have access to healthy and safe communities where they live, learn, work, worship and recreate, as she puts it.

The Tennessee native, who grew up in South Memphis where everything was within walking distance, including the Memphis Defense Depot, which was later classified as a National Priority List Superfund Site, a location filled with toxic waste.

In the early 1990s, her great-grandmother would die of cancer, as would other members of her community.

“When children grow up in polluted communities it robs them of developmental skills,” Bradshaw said, noting that pollutants like lead present in the water in Tennessee, which then finds its way into homes and schools. “Lead is one of those things we saw in Flint, Mich., and how devastating it was in the learning process. It is something that we have to be concerned about with our children. We have to eliminate the exposure that they can possibly have for pollution because it robs them of key developmental skills and causes learning disabilities and abnormalities that can be avoided.”

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