Evans has a long history working for positive change. For 5 years she
coordinated workforce development programs with US Steel in Gary, Indiana and
in Martinsville, Virginia and Macon, Georgia. Following those successes, she
was employed with both Georgia and Alabama Legal Services Programs as a project
coordinator, paralegal and trainer of new attorneys. Barbara was a regular
lecturer at the Walter F. George School of Law and under the supervision of
attorneys, she specialized in administrative and disability law.
left Georgia Legal Services to become a labor organizer, working with the
United Electrical Workers, United Auto Workers and the Alabama AFL-CIO.
Assigned to the southeast, Barbara negotiated contracts, organized new units
and lobbied on local, state and federal levels. She specialized in settling
agreements between employees and industry that satisfied both parties.
moved to Alabama in 1990 while working with the United Electrical Workers.
Despite her plan to “roll” with the union, she fell in love with Lowndes
County, Alabama and set down roots. In 2001 she founded a nonprofit statewide
consumer education and advocacy organization called Alabama Watch and through
her lobbying efforts at the Alabama State Legislature helped get the Baby
Douglas bill passed, stopped legislation that took rights away from nursing
home residents, and helped pass Alabama’s new Landlord Tenant laws. She is a
member of the Alabama Legislative Task Force on the Open Records Task Force
helped with the new Open Meetings Act, and serves as a lobbyist and consultant
to environmental and community organizations.
2006, Barbara joined WildLaw, a nonprofit environmental law firm based in
Montgomery, Alabama to head up the Alabama organizing effort, and worked with
community groups on environmental issues. She teaches citizen advocacy and has
continued her work with the Alabama State Legislature. Last session, 2011, she
was instrumental in getting a 2-year moratorium on large landfills passed in
the Legislature. Barbara retired from WildLaw in the summer of 2011 but
continues to work with groups in Alabama’s Blackbelt.
is one of the founders of Lowndes
Citizens United for Action, and Blackbelt Citizens Fighting for Health
and Justice (Perry County), and currently serves as Technical Advisor. She
writes and publishes a community column, “Esther’s Trumpet,” carried in four Blackbelt weekly
newspapers, and operates a rural art and civil rights history center called
Annie Mae’s Place, where Barbara’s annual community event, the Alabama Okra
Festival, is held on the last Saturday in August.
Alabama's Blackbelt Region: A land forgotten, contaminated by coal ash, March 2, 2012