Weekly Featured Profile – Ash-Lee Henderson

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Ash-Lee Henderson

Ash-Lee Henderson is a Chattanooga, Tennessee activist. She has been active in the Chattanooga People’s Platform, a coalition to “raise demands of marginalized members of the Chattanooga community,” but has been recently working as a Regional Organizer at Project South in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ash-Lee Henderson describes herself as an Affrilachian (Black Appalachian), working class woman.

Henderson attended East Tennessee State University, majoring in English and minoring in African and African American Studies. She has served in positions of leadership, including being the former Organizational Liaison for the Initiative for Clean Energy at ETSU, former vice-president of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, past president of the Black Affairs Association and was a co-founder of the Progressive Students Alliance at ETSU.

Henderson has extensive knowledge of the use of community organizing and is a former staff member of the Chicago (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) History Project.

Henderson has served on the board of directors/coordinating committees/core leadership of United Students Against Sweatshops, the Student Environmental Action Coalition, Concerned Citizens for Justice of Chattanooga and the Highlander Research and Education Center, a communist aligned training school whose famous alumni include Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks. She has been arrested twice and cited once in protests to end mountaintop removal coal mining and coal related disasters, and to protect workers rights to organize.

She has organized in the movement to end racial oppression, the feminist/womanist movement, the environmental justice movement, the LGBTQUI movement and more.

Ash-Lee Henderson is also active in the Communist Party USA splinter group, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.

At the 2013 Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism conference, Henderson addressed a plenary session on climate change.

She spoke about the impact of pollution and toxic waste in Tennessee. “Heavy metals from mining and mountain top removal,” she explained, “are having a profound effect on jobs and health.” The environmental inequities are creating movements advocating justice. There are concrete ways to force change – marching, demonstrating, lobbying the EPA. “The left needs to figure out how to impact regulation of the climate industry now,” she urged, certainly if there are only five or so years left.

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