Theme: Organizing – People

John Kennedy

The summer before his final year at the Vanderbilt Law School and during the summer and fall after his graduation, John Kennedy worked for the Student Health Coalition, 1971 and 1972. He provided assistance to former miners who were seeking black lung benefits and disability payments from federal and state agencies. He was based in …

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Charles Schiff

While an engineering student at Vanderbilt University, Charles spent the summers of 1970 and 1971 with the Student Health Coalition. He was 18 years old when he joined the SHC, one of the Coalition’s youngest members. He served as a community worker in Clairfield, Tennessee where, in addition to providing support for the health fairs, …

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Charles “Boomer” Winfrey

After studying geology at the University of Tennessee and working as a geologist for one year, Boomer took a job as a community organizer with Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM). As he later described his role: “They needed somebody with geological training to go out and sample water and review mining plans and things and …

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Byrd Duncan

[Contributed by: John E. Davis] When the newly recruited medical workers and community workers of the Student Health Coalition gathered in Nashville in June 1970, beginning a week of orientation for the SHC’s second summer in Appalachia, they were introduced to several people from East Tennessee who had volunteered to serve as their sponsors and …

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John E. Davis

[Contributed by John E. Davis, August 2015. Burlington, Vermont] I am the eldest son of a Southern couple who moved north for employment after World War II.  Every June, my parents would “go home,” loading their three boys into a station wagon with no air conditioning and traveling hundreds of miles down US 1 from New Jersey …

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