Clairfield TN

Bill Dow as a community organizer in Appalachia

Maureen O’Connell and Charles “Boomer” Winfrey reflect on Bill Dow’s character and personal philosophy about community organizing. They describe him as an other-oriented person driven by creative, actionable service and mutually respectful relationships best illustrated by his perception of and interaction with the locals as his heroes. Recorded on May 20, 2013.   Full footage …

Bill Dow as a community organizer in Appalachia Read More »

Decline of coal camp healthcare and subsequent basis of need for reform

Charles “Boomer” Winfrey and Maureen O’Connell discuss the local healthcare setting upon Save Our Cumberland Mountain’s (SOCM) and the Student Health Coalition’s (SHC) early stages of community organizing in East Tennessee. Maureen details several local factors which established a major basis of need for healthcare reform. Recorded on May 20, 2013.   Full footage of …

Decline of coal camp healthcare and subsequent basis of need for reform Read More »

Maureen O’Connell’s introduction to SOCM and the SHC

Maureen traces the development of her involvement with Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM) and the Student Health Coalition (SHC), beginning with her 1969 introduction to Marie Cirillo and research presence in Clairfield, Tenn. Recorded on May 20th, 2013.   Full footage of interview with Maureen O’Connell and Charles “Boomer” Winfrey.

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, Tenn. where, in addition to providing support for the health fairs, …

Charles Schiff Read More »

Martha Stucker

Martha was a Catholic nun and a registered nurse working in East Tennessee at the Clairfield clinic in 1969 when Bill Dow first encountered her and engaged her help in designing student-run health fairs. She had been conducting primary care for pregnant women and their children, including dispensing birth control, since before Nurse Practitioner was …

Martha Stucker Read More »

Interview with Marie Cirillo by David Cline, May 26 2010, Southern Oral History Program, UNC Chapel Hill

Eighty-one year-old Brooklyn, N.Y. native, Marie Cirillo has spent the last forty-two years of her life as a community organizer in Appalachia. There she has worked closely with natives to the area to create independently run nonprofits, land trusts, women’s organizations, and living/learning centers. She spends this interview discussing how her background led her to …

Interview with Marie Cirillo by David Cline, May 26 2010, Southern Oral History Program, UNC Chapel Hill Read More »

Interview with Mary Herr by Jessie Wilkerson, May 19 2011, Southern Oral History Program, UNC Chapel Hill

Mary Herr was born in Springfield, Ill. in 1940. In 1978 she moved to Cherokee, N.C. where she has worked on many community development projects, primarily in legal aid services. Herr begins the interview by discussing her family history; a history of suicide on her mother’s side of the family; memories of growing up on …

Interview with Mary Herr by Jessie Wilkerson, May 19 2011, Southern Oral History Program, UNC Chapel Hill Read More »

Interview with Maureen O’Connell by Jessie Wilkerson, August 11 2010, Southern Oral History Program, UNC Chapel Hill

Maureen O’Connell grew up in St. Louis, Ill., in the 1940s. She was a community organizer for Save Our Cumberland Mountains from 1974-1992, and she served as Executive Director of the organization from 1992-2009. She begins the interview by talking about her childhood in East St. Louis, Ill.; her father’s involvement in the labor movement; …

Interview with Maureen O’Connell by Jessie Wilkerson, August 11 2010, Southern Oral History Program, UNC Chapel Hill Read More »

Richard Davidson Photograph Collection, Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill

Richard Davidson (1947-), a medical physician and educator, was among the founding participants of the Vanderbilt Student Health Coalition at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. (1970-1971) and the Mountain People’s Health Council in eastern Tennesee (1975-1976). The Student Health Coalition focused on training medical professionals and medical students for community organizing around local health fairs …

Richard Davidson Photograph Collection, Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill Read More »

Welmoet Spreij

Contributed by Welmoet Spreij, Amsterdam, 2017. I came to Nashville as a Dutch exchange-student in the fall of 1969 and took some classes at Vanderbilt University. While attending a course in philosophy, I came to know John Davis, Dick Burr, and Carolyn Keith. The next year, as they prepared to go to Appalachia for the …

Welmoet Spreij Read More »