Derrick Evans has worked since 2001 to help protect and revitalize his coastal Mississippi community and sister communities throughout the region. Derrick is a direct descendant of the former slaves who were the first to settle Turkey Creek, and left his life as a history professor in Boston when his ancestors’ graves back home were bulldozed for development. He founded Turkey Creek Community Initiatives in 2003 with a mission to “conserve, restore, and utilize the endangered cultural, historical and ecological assets” of his native community and watershed. Derrick was at the forefront of support efforts for Gulf Coast communities impacted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and was an appointed administrator of the Gulf Coast Fund, where he helped direct millions of dollars to the small groups impacted most by Katrina and the BP disaster. A critically acclaimed documentary film called “Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek” chronicles Derrick’s struggle for justice.