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.”
Meet Our Staff
Dr. Audrey Elion
Civic Engagement Coordinator
William Frank Johnson
Military Toxin Director
Our Board of Directors
Board Chair, A. Philip Randolph Institute
Kermit is a retiree, father, and grandfather who lives in a community with a legacy of pollution. A labor and human rights advocate for over 30 years, he currently serves as the President of the Memphis A. Philip Randolph Institute and the Memphis NAACP Executive Committee. Kermit continues to lead voter education & human rights training throughout the South.
Anthony Moore, Jr.
Anthony is an educator and father who lives in a community with a legacy of pollution. Anthony had more than 20 years of experience with engaging youth in conflict resolution skills. Anthony's work is at the intersection of education, equity, and environmental justice. He is also an expert in the development of civic engagement strategies and curriculum, the founder of Brothers About Change, and plans community civic engagement events and voter registration drives to target young people.
Erica is a small business owner, mother, and grandmother who lives in a community with a legacy of pollution. She works to dismantle poverty by sponsoring financial literacy workshops, community food drives, and family outreach back-to-school events.
Elizabeth Wright (she/her) organizer, strategist, and educator for social change. For fun, she's a garage band musician and leads a girl's rock band camp. She is the Co-Founder of KnowHow a Knoxville youth-focused organization that supports leadership development and community development utilizing art, culture, and media to amplify power, agency, and voices. She has worn many hats in non-profit and grassroots groups, including serving as Executive Director of Tennesseans for Fair Taxation and now serving as Communications Strategist at the Highlander Research and Education Center.
Moreisha is an educator, published author, wife, mother, and grandmother who lives in a community with a legacy of pollution. Her work focuses on the intersection of environmental justice, education, and reproductive justice.
Doris Deberry Bradshaw
Doris was the President and founder of the Concerned Citizens Committee in the Defense Depot of Memphis, Tennessee. She also lived in a community with a legacy of pollution and has served on the Community Tribal Subcommittee of Scientific Counselor and the Tennessee Minority Health Commission. Trainer and environmental and economic justice curriculum development.