Carrie Barefoot Dickerson

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Carrie Barefoot Dickerson (24 May 1917 – 17 November 2006) was an American activist who led citizen efforts to stop construction of the proposed Black Fox Nuclear Power Plant in Oklahoma.


Dickerson was born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma in 1917 to a pioneering family. She attended the Rocky Hill and Nuyaka Mission schools. In Oklahoma State University she studied home economics education and nutrition, gaining BS and MS degrees. She married Cherokee dairy farmer (and fellow OSU graduate) Charles Robert Dickerson (d. 1981) in 1938. They established a farm east of Claremore, Oklahoma. They had four children.

She began teaching in 1943 at the German-speaking Mennonite Pleasant View community school near Inola, Oklahoma. She later taught in several area schools before retiring in 1957. She then opened a home-based bakery. In 1964 she and her husband opened Aunt Carrie's Nursing Home (later Wood Manor) in Claremore.

Her husband died in early 1981, after which she operated a health-food store in Clarement. She closed the store in 2002.

Carrie Barefoot Dickerson died at Claremore in 2006.[1]

Power plant opposition[edit]

In 1973 the Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) announced plans to build Black Fox nuclear-power plant near Inola. When Dickerson read the news, she began researching the potential dangers[2] and challenges. She and another activist[3] formed CASE (Citizens' Action for Safe Energy), to teach the public about the perceived dangers posed by a nearby nuclear facility.

Following her lead, other anti-nuclear organizations were formed in the area, and citizens from all walks of life and ethnic groups joined in the battle. Then on 16 February 1982, PSO announced the cancellation of the proposed project.[4][5]


Carrie Barefoot Dickerson is featured in the book Women of Spirit: Stories of Courage from the Women Who Lived Them by Katherine Martin.[6]

The Carrie Dickerson Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the Oklahoma Sustainability Network, is named after her.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Legacy (Carrie Dickerson Foundation)
  2. ^ Much of her findings were based on environmental damages caused by effluent from the World War II-era Manhattan Project.
  3. ^ Ilene Younghein, of nearby Oklahoma City
  4. ^ Hattaway, Rebecca (18 November 2006). "Anti-nuclear activist dies". The Claremore Daily Progress. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Energy officials say nuclear power comeback not likely to happen
  6. ^ Women of Spirit By Katherine Martin
  7. ^ Carrie Barefoot Dickerson Award Presentation Archived 20 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Carrie Barefoot Dickerson Archived 9 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.

Further reading[edit]