February 12: Kathy Robinson
Kathy Robinson is a fourth-generation resident of Southwest Memphis. She graduated from Dillard University of New Orleans, LA where she majored in Public Health/Community Health, before obtaining her Master’s degree in Health Administration. An activist for the community in which she was raised, Kathy is a co-founder of Memphis Community Against the Pipeline (MCAP).
Robinson’s advocacy and heroic action has directly impacted and ended the proposed Byhalia Connection Pipeline, as well as sparking a vital conversation about environmental racism, classism, and injustice in this community – both historic and current. Byhalia, a proposed 49-mile crude oil pipeline connecting a refinery in Memphis to an existing pipeline in Marshall County, Mississippi, would have cut through the Memphis aquifer, the city’s water source and would have posed a significant risk to drinking water in the community. Robinson is now working towards getting legislation passed that will stop projects like the now-cancelled Byhalia Connection Pipeline.
"This community is standing up and saying no more, we've had enough," Kathy Robinson, a fourth-generation resident of the area, told ABC News. "For the past 50 years, this specific community in Memphis has received whatever the rest of Memphis and Shelby County would dare not accept in other places."
"We know that this is environmental racism," Robinson added. "They purposely picked communities where they think that there will be no one that's willing to fight them."
This time, she said, "We’re saying 'no.'"
In addition to her powerful work in the community, Robinson also serves the State of Tennessee as Program Director for Children’s Special Services (CSS). Her work affects thousands of families across the state, specifically those who are caring for children and youth with special healthcare needs, connecting them with vital resources they need to survive and thrive.