Corinne Whitehead: Corinne Whitehead is no stranger to grassroots advocacy efforts. Her lifetime commitment and unrelenting persistence have enhanced the quality of Kentucky’s air, soil, and water.
She fought to get the Land Between the Lakes area of western Kentucky placed under the control of the National Park Service. She has addressed health risks from hazardous waste, has been involved with eliminating dioxin from the environment, and is passionate about the toxic pollution at the Calvert City industrial complex. The crisis at the industrial complex pitted environmental activists against the Chamber of Commerce, businessmen, and politicians. Greenpeace even came to town and concluded that people accepted working in Calvert City because “jobs are on the other end of smoke.” Meanwhile, businessmen say that those jobs produce a lifestyle the employees never had before. It’s a debate that rages over and over again across Kentucky and America.
As a child Whitehead was painfully shy but her father stressed that “you can do anything you want to do.” Her mother never supported her activism and often turned up on her doorstep reminding Whitehead that she needed to be “nice and quiet and ladylike.” Corinne Whitehead has spent her life talking about environmental concerns, ladylike or not.
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