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Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson

Highlander Research and Education Center
Executive Director
Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson is the first black woman Executive Director of the Highlander Research & Education Center, a social justice leadership training school and cultural center founded in 1932. Through popular education, language justice, participatory research, cultural work, and intergenerational organizing, they help create spaces — at Highlander and in communities — where people gain knowledge, hope and courage, expanding their ideas of what is possible. Ash-Lee is a long-time activist working against environmental racism in central and southern Appalachia. She serves on the governance council of the Southern Movement Assembly and is a nationally recognized leader in the Movement for Black Lives. Most recently, Ash-Lee was featured on the 2019 Frederick Douglass 200, a list of 200 individuals who best embody the spirit and work of Frederick Douglass, one of the most influential figures in history.