Oral History

Judy Nunn-Ellison Snipes - On family, faith, and the importance of heritage and land

Interviewed by Michele Easter on October 17, 1996

“The connection is that the faith that backs me is my support and my strength. The you don’t give up. You keep fighting.”

- Judy Nunn-Ellison Snipes

Judy Nunn-Ellison Snipes has been an important member and leader of Chapel Hill since growing up and living in the community for most of her life. She speaks of the family history of the Nunns and Rogers and talks about their connection to the land in Chapel Hill and the fight and effort that went into preserving that land. She speaks of her life, talking about her educational experiences, activism efforts, community leadership, career advances, and the role faith has in her life. The interview continues to talk of the troubles her family had in protecting their land including fights with utility companies, disruptions from the creation of landfills, issues with ordinances, and the people of Chapel Hill trying to take their land. She speaks of her family history and the influence they had in shaping her involvement and efforts in contributing to the Chapel Hill community. Judy discusses the significance of preserving land and having pride in family history and heritage. Her leadership and activism come from her desire to honor and maintain the history of the land and the people of Chapel Hill.

This interview is part of a project done from 1993-1998, concentrating on the experiences of women leaders and attempting to redefine leadership to encompass women's efforts in grassroots movements, especially in environmental movements, community development, and self-help organizations. This interview with Judy Nunn-Ellison Snipes was about Nunn and Rogers family history, especially as connected to the land. The discussion alluded to events as early as 1862, but concentrated mostly on the last forty years. The interview covered the following topics: the fight to protect nearly land from being used in ways disruptive to the community (landfill, extraction of fill dirt, electrical), conflicts with the town of Chapel Hill over zoning, Nunn family events, influence of older Nunn and Rogers family members on Judy's life, the importance of heritage and land, role of faith and church. We explored possible connections between heritage and activism.

Judy Nunn-Ellison Snipes - On family, faith, and the importance of heritage and land

Judy Nunn-Ellison Snipes - On family, faith, and the importance of heritage and land

Judy Nunn-Ellison Snipes - On family, faith, and the importance of heritage and land

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Oral history interview of Snipes, Judy Nunn-Ellison conducted by Easter, Michele on October 17, 1996 at Home of Gertrude Nunn, Chapel Hill, NC. Processed by Easter, Michele.

Citation: Southern Oral History Program, “Judy Nunn-Ellison Snipes - On family, faith, and the importance of heritage and land,” From the Rock Wall, accessed May 19, 2024, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/judy-nunn-ellison-snipes-on-family-faith-and-the-importance-of-heritage-and-land.

Rights: Open for research. The Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) welcomes non-commercial use and access that qualifies as fair use to all unrestricted interview materials in the collection. The researcher must cite and give proper credit to the SOHP. The SOHP requests that the researcher informs the SOHP as to how and where they are using the material.

View this interview on the Southern Oral History Program website

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