Marie Cirillo

arie Cirillo, while living in Cincinnati in the early 1960s as a member of the Glenmary Sisters, witnessed the consequences of the migration of people leaving Appalachia for the promise of city jobs. She decided to relocate to a rural community where she could help address the underlying causes of the migration. In 1967 Ms. Cirillo moved to her present home of Clairfield, Tennessee, where absentee owners had stripped the land of its best resources to sell in the global marketplace and then abandoned the local people and the land. There she co-founded Woodland Community Land Trust, which has acquired 400 acres, which support human resettlement and forest restoration. To further encourage regional self-sufficiency and land reclamation work she founded the Woodland Community Development Corporation, the Mountain Women’s Exchange, and Appalachian-Based Community Development Education. She has served as executive director of Rural American Women and has been a founding member of other national and regional organizations working to give voice to the people and concerns of small rural communities.

One case study