Happy 2016

I hope your year is getting off to a good start and you are keeping warm.
Here at ACF we are gearing up for the first phase of your strategic planning process following last year’s assessment. As we gear up for our 30th Anniversary in 2017, we are excited about improving the sustainability of our giving and to better ensure our ability to make grants to deserving community organizations across the region for a long time to come.
At the same time, we are very excited about receiving a distribution of a permanently restricted endowment!! We will reinvest these funds to receive the maximum interest on return to make this endowment a sustainable funding source for the region. We haven’t had it long enough for it to generate enough income to make grants.   So, patience!  This is a beautiful and exciting opportunity that will empower ACF’s grantmaking ability for years to come.
Make sure to check out the two upcoming events below, our Fabulous Birthday Party, followed by a grantee brunch. As 2016 continues, please make sure to stay tuned for other opportunities to learn and share with one another across the region. We really need your ideas and thoughts as we plan for strengthening ACF as a more sustainable grantmaking resource for the work that normally goes unfunded in the region.
We are excited to reimagine ourselves and our grantmaking and our continued relationship with you and our grantees as we prepare to celebrate 30 years of Change, not Charity in Central Appalachia. We hope that you are excited too!
Again, Happy 2016! Thank you so much for your work. As always, thanks for reading. Thanks for sharing. May this be the year we all see tremendous Change, not Charity work in Central Appalachia!


As always thanks for reading, thanks for sharing, and thanks for being a part of a community of readers who celebrate Change, not Charity in Central Appalachia
Peace, love, and justice,
Executive Director
Please give us your feedback on the new look of the enewsletter. We’d love to hear from you.

If you have something you would like to include in eAppalActions, please remember to send your information to Patricia Jones, patricia@appalachiancommunityfund.org, before the 15th of each month.
Upcoming Events
Event details here
New From The Region
Registration Now Open! 
Join ROOTS in Florida, January 28-31, for ROOTS Weekend-Eatonville - the second of six regional gatherings that Alternate ROOTS is convening throughout the South over the next three years. For this ROOTS Weekend, Alternate ROOTS is partnering with the annual ZORA! Festival, and programming will resonate with the art, anthropology, and legacy of Zora Neale Hurston.
ROOTS Weekends are a condensed version of ROOTS Week, the ROOTS signature gathering. This series of three-day convenings brings artists, activists, and cultural organizers together to build community and share work through workshops, dialogues, visual arts, and performances. ROOTS Weekends deepen our collective understanding and analysis of the work of social change by lifting up the ways artists and cultural organizers are working with communities to develop creative solutions to long-standing issues.

One of the goals of the ROOTS Weekend Series is to strengthen our membership in specific regions across the South. With this goal in mind, preference will be given to those who live in Florida and the surrounding region including Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi.
For more information or to register click here
Funding Forward 2016
Wednesday, March 30 - Friday, April 1 (Minneapolis, MN) 
Funding Forward 2016 is coming to Minneapolis, Minnesota!  Our annual gathering of grantmakers committed to LGBTQ issues is a great opportunity for like minded funders to connect with one another, learn from each other, coordinate efforts, and maximize impact. Register now and take advantage of the early bird rate!  
For more information click here
We Are Kentuckians Rally Lifts Up A Vision For Kentucky
Kentuckians For The Commonwealth
KFTC Chairperson Dana Beasley Brown opened the first We Are Kentuckians rally in Frankfort by sharing a vision of healthy communities, good jobs, the best health care, fairness, racial justice and a healthy environment across Kentucky.

“Our collective voice is so important in this political landscape – the voice of real people. We’re churning our dreams – you and me – with people all over our commonwealth. And we have the solutions that can make them a reality,” Beasley Brown told the crowd of 200 gathered in the capitol rotunda on January 5, the first day of the 2016 General Assembly.

In addition to KFTC, local and statewide community organizations, local labor groups, health care advocates, fairness groups and others participated in the rally to begin the 2016 legislative session with a vision of what Kentucky can be and what real Kentuckians want for our state.

“We are in challenging times, YES. But many of us have been in challenging times before,” said Beasley Brown. “That's not new to us, and that’s why we do this work together. I know that when I join my voice with your voice, the legislators have no choice but to listen.”

The day began with a meet-and-greet with legislators, including senators Morgan McGarvey and Gerald Neal and Representative Kelly Flood. Then the crowd gathered in the capitol rotunda to share a vision and lift up priorities for the session.

Several KFTC members spoke during the rally, alongside allies from other organizations, about minimum wage, racial justice, voting rights and the need to improve the quality of life for all Kentuckians.

“We are a state built with incredible power,” said Pam Newman, a KFTC member from Louisville. Newman said 2016 is the year when “we can build our potential and use our potential.”

She encouraged those gathered to envision a Kentucky where black lives matter, where immigrants are respected, and where the land and water are protected. “We collectively have the right to organize, to strategize and to revolutionize.”

Mantell Stevens, a KFTC member from Lexington who lost his right to vote because of a felony conviction 16 years ago, told the crowd, “I believe that every Kentuckian should have the right to vote. Period. Because every Kentuckian shares the responsibility of making our commonwealth better.”

“Our vision statement is a strong tool,” said Serena Owen of Elsmere. The vision statement guides KFTC’s work but can also hold elected leaders accountable, Owen said.

KFTC member Meta Mendel-Reyes, who also represented Standing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), told the crowd that achieving racial justice would take white people working together – and taking action together.

Member Jesus Gonzalez – along with his daughter, Bella – spoke about the impact of a minimum wage increase on low-wage workers. “I don’t care who’s in that office. I don’t care who’s our governor. We still expect our lawmakers and our politicians to stand for the people of Kentucky,” Gonzalez said.

Chris Hartman of the Fairness Campaign told the crowd, “Friends, the time for fairness is now, and the ones who will win it are you.”

Rebecca Peek of SEIU/NCFO 32BJ (Service Employees International Union, National Conference of Firemen and Oilers) focused on the right of workers to organize – a right that is threatened by “right to work” legislation. “One of the best ways to ensure a better future for all of Kentucky is to stand up for the right of workers to bargain with their employers,” Peek said.

KFTC members who attended the event said they came to send a message to the governor and legislators.

“I think today is very important because it is a new era for Kentucky with the new Governor Bevin coming in,” said Rosanne Fitts Klarer, a KFTC member from Scott County. “I feel like he needs to hear from the progressive part of Kentucky that we expect things to not slide backwards and we are holding him to account. That’s why I’m here.”

Paul Schwartz of Fort Thomas said, “It’s important for the representatives to understand the needs of the people and what the people want and not just to hear from the constituents that maybe are the big campaign contributors or the big businesses. They represent the people; they don’t represent those people.”
Media coverage and other details here
University of Kentucky Appalachian Research Symposium
Call for Participation
Graduate and undergraduate students from all disciplines are invited to submit to the Seventh Annual UK Appalachian Research Symposium and Arts Showcase. This year's theme is "Difference and Affinity: Representing Appalachia." The Symposium will be held March 5-6, 2016, at the University of Kentucky. The conference is FREE and they are hoping to expand participation including students from throughout the region and beyond. Abstracts are due Friday January 22nd. 
See call for participation here

Visions of Appalachia
The annual Haun Conference in Morristown, TN, on February 5-6, 2016, will be, as always, free.  If you plan to come, please follow the link below, complete the registration form, and send it to Viki D. Rouse at Viki.Rouse@ws.edu. This will help with planning for space.  Guests who wish to purchase a Saturday lunch will need to get that information to Viki D. Rouse at Viki.Rouse@ws.edu. This year’s theme is Visions of Appalachia.  Ross Spears, noted documentary filmmaker, will be the keynote speaker. Also on the schedule is Grace Toney Edwards, Chris Pugh and the Appalkids, ETSU Old Time Pride Band, the High Lonesome Senate Bluegrass Band, and Linda Parsons Marion’s new play, Decoration Day, along with a host of other presenters.  Please come if you can.
See schedule and register here
The 21st Annual Rural Development Conference 
Registration Open!
Register here
New Market, TN (Focus on Youth): June, 23-26, 2016 
Over the next two years, Alternate ROOTS will be hosting a series of six ROOTS Weekends. Formerly called ROOTS Regional Gatherings, ROOTS Weekends are a condensed version of ROOTS Week. These three-day convenings bring artists, organizers, and cultural organizers together to build community and share work through workshops, dialogues, visual arts, and performances. The gatherings will be grounded in the work of ROOTS Partners In Action program, but it will not be the sole focus of the weekend. The intention of this project is to help artists gain a deeper analysis of the work going on within the region and to lift up the ways artists are working with local communities to develop creative solutions to long-standing issues. ROOTS Weekends will be documented so that the experience and learning can be shared far and wide, throughout ROOTS’ membership as well as the broader field. They are not only looking to attract ROOTS members to these gatherings, but also local artists, cultural organizers, and creatives, regional and national partners, peer organizations, and funders. So in putting this event together they will be inviting proposals for performances, workshops, visual arts exhibitions, local excursions, and more!
Read more here
Sponsored by Virginia Organizing
Learn how organized people are taking a stand against school punishment policies that disproportionately affect students of color and students with disabilities, and what you can do to help.This program is part of the James Farmer Multicultural Center’s Black History Month Celebration at the University of Mary Washington.
Read more here
West Virginia
The Forgotten Ones: How HIV Is Wreaking Silent Havoc on Black West Virginians
By Drew Gibson
From the outside, Bluefield, West Virginia, doesn't look much different from any other run-of-the-mill Appalachian town in a region that has seen better days, but is still clawing and scratching to survive. But of all of the towns in West Virginia, Bluefield has the highest percentage of black residents, with nearly one in four of African-American descent. One in four might not sound like a lot, but in a state where only 3.4% of the population is black, Bluefield is about as black as it gets. This southern region of West Virginia in which Bluefield is located is the state's most impoverished -- and the one with the greatest gaps between residents' health care needs and the services available to them. And in few areas is this health care gap more pronounced than in the prevention, detection and treatment of HIV.

Within two minutes of meeting Darryl Cannady, I knew I liked him, and I also knew that there were probably a lot of people in this world who did not. Catch him in a rare moment when he's not talking and carrying on, and there really isn't anything about the man that will strike you as remarkable. A middle-aged black man with a thin mustache, salt and pepper hair that's heavy on the salt and, more often than not, a t-shirt tucked into a pair of dad jeans, Cannady's unassuming looks belie a flamboyance and tenacity that become evident the moment he opens his mouth.

With a voice that sounds like Harvey Fierstein gargling gravel, a razor sharp wit and little-to-no filter, Cannady has no qualms about launching into diatribes against opponents large and small, a character trait that comes out when he discusses how the state of West Virginia stopped funding the HIV service provider and advocacy group he founded, South Central Educational Development, Inc. (SCED) in 2010.

But somehow, some way, despite the loss of this funding, Cannady has managed to keep his organization running. As the only HIV service provider in West Virginia south of Charleston, he and the communities he serves have no other option.

"We need dedicated housing down here," Cannady told me while stirring a big pot of curried chicken in the basement of the old church that serves as SCED's headquarters. "We need a dedicated AIDS clinic down here. Right now there's only one infectious disease doc in all of southern West Virginia, and he's leaving in January with nobody to take his place."

At first I thought that I must have misheard him. But Patti Crawford, the director of rural outreach at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, assured me that I hadn't: Southern West Virginia wouldn't have an infectious disease doctor at the start of 2016.

"Normally, when a physician leaves an area, there's a mechanism for referral, so they can say, 'well, I'm leaving, but I can offer these suggestions.'" Patti said. "The only suggestion they have now is to go up to the Ryan White Clinic in Charleston, which is 100 miles away. And, there are some people who go all the way up there for care, but there are plenty who won't. There have been discussions about them opening up a clinic down here, but when they talk about opening up a clinic they're talking about once a month. That's just not going to cut it."

Like many sections of rural America, southern West Virginia's biggest obstacle between its HIV-positive residents and the care they needed is lack of accessibility. The vast majority of West Virginia is rural, but the southern part of the state is unique in the degree to which it is isolated from medical facilities that employ infectious disease doctors.

"If you're in Morgantown, you're fine," said Steve Webb, the treasurer of SCED, as he tried to explain the topography of health care in West Virginia. "[West Virginia University] is there, it's the cherry on top of the pie. If you're in Huntington, you're okay because you're on the border of Kentucky and Ohio and because Marshall's there. If you're in the Eastern Panhandle, you're a couple hours from DC. If you're in the Northern Panhandle, you're an hour or two away from Pittsburgh. But here, you're not close to anything. And, even if you were close, we don't have the transportation capabilities or infrastructure."

For now, it doesn't appear as if help and resources for HIV prevention and treatment are coming to southern West Virginia, and the epidemiological reports that are being released are all but useless since there haven't been any surveillance or outreach efforts in the area for the better part of a decade. When I asked Christine Teague, who serves as the director of the Charleston Area Medical Center's Ryan White HIV Program, why it is that the most southern and black region of West Virginia is being more or less ignored by the state government, her reply was startlingly blunt and bleak.

"The numbers are just not high enough," she told me over coffee at a small cafe by the state capitol. "I think [HIV] will continue to spread throughout that population, and it's just not going to be addressed. The problem we have is that, despite the disproportional impact, we have such a small black population that they get lost in the shuffle."

What does that disproportional impact look like? For black men in West Virginia it means a rate of HIV/AIDS that is over seven times greater than the rate for white men. For black women in West Virginia the rate is over 31 times greater than for white women.

Significantly, in 2012, West Virginia's all-cause death rate per 1,000 black people living with HIV, a good indicator of the quality of and access to care in a region, was 28.9 -- the highest of any state.

Here's what that means: A greater percentage of blacks in West Virginia who have been diagnosed with HIV are dying than anywhere else in the U.S. and people don't seem to care. How many more black West Virginians have to die preventable deaths before people do?
Student Training for Environmental Protection
Spring Break in Appalachia!
Since 2009, the Student Training for Environmental Protection (STEP) has been offering students and young people exciting, fun, and important training opportunities. On March 6-12, 2016, for the first time ever, STEP comes to central Appalachia for Spring Break! With a focus on issues surrounding the destructive environmental and social effects of mountaintop removal and fracking, STEP in Appalachia will provide students and young people the skills they need to become effective environmental advocates and organizers. It is an intensive course focused on environmental justice and anti-oppression, facilitated by a diverse crew of some of the best youth organizers in the U.S and Puerto Rico. Throughout the week, participants learn how to create (or strengthen) successful and diverse groups that will be able to run effective environmental campaigns on their campuses or in their communities.
Register here
39th Annual ASA Conference
Appalachian Studies Association
"Voices from the Misty Mountains: Diversity and Unity, A New Appalachia." That is the theme of the Thirty-Ninth Annual Appalachian Studies Conference, March 18-20, 2016. The conference will be held high above the banks of the Potomac River in Shepherdstown, West Virginia on the campus of Shepherd University. Nestled but a stone’s throw from Antietam Battlefield, Harpers Ferry, Storer College, historic Martinsburg, and more, Shepherdstown is poised to offer attendees a unique experience that builds upon not only the cultural and historic richness of the area, but that of the Appalachian region itself. The Appalachian Studies Association prides itself on the inclusiveness and interdisciplinary content of its conferences and the 2016 theme allows for an in-depth look at the most pressing problems that face the region—issues that both unite and divide us.

Frank X Walker will deliver the conference keynote address on Friday, March 18 in the Shepherd University Frank Center Theater. Walker, a native Kentuckian and graduate of the University of Kentucky, holds an MFA in writing from Spalding University and was named Poet Laureate of Kentucky in 2013—the youngest and first African American to hold the position. Walker cofounded Message Theater and the Affrilachian Poets and was named one of "the most creative teachers in the South" by the Oxford American: The Southern Magazine of Good Writing. His creation of the word “Affrilachia” is included in the Oxford American Dictionary. Walker has lectured, conducted workshops, and read poetry at over 400 national conferences and universities across the globe. Walker’s keynote address, entitled “Escape from Negro Mountain: Writing History, Righting Wrongs,” will utilize stories and literature to shed light on the diversity of Appalachia. Frank X Walker will participate in a number of conference events in addition to the keynote. Special Plenary VII will feature Walker and the Affrilachian Poets in “Affrilachian Voices: A Reading by Affrilachian Poets.” Poets participating in the event alongside Walker include Kelly Norman Ellis, Ricardo Nazario y Colon, Bianca Spriggs, and others. The plenary session is free and open to the public and will take place Saturday in Shepherd University’s Erma Ora Byrd Hall.

Other special plenaries will feature the Cherokee voice of Lloyd Arneach, who will open the conference with a traditional Cherokee blessing and share stories from Appalachia’s indigenous peoples; the storytelling voice of West Virginia’s Adam Booth; reflections on folklore from John Lilly, former editor of Goldenseal magazine; the extraordinary vision of photographer Builder Levy; and finally the cultural and multicultural ethnographic intersections of Appalachian clogging and African-American dance as explored by dance scholars Matthew Olwell, Becky Hill, and Emily Oleson.
View conference details here
Job Opportunities In Central Appalachia
Program Coordinator
West Virginia Community Development Hub
The Hub is seeking a program coordinator for its Innovation Acceleration Strategy, working with five southern WV coalfield communities to help them create plans to diversify their economies. 

  • Identify and connect with key community leaders;
  • Organize community informational meetings;
  • Work with community members to build task teams to advance a variety of economic
   diversification opportunities; and
  • Assist community teams in developing strategic plans for each of the economic
   diversification sectors.

West Virginia's coal-impacted communities need brave ideas, they need strong leadership, and they need our help. 
Learn more about this position here
Executive Director 
West Virginia Community Development Hub
The Hub seeks an executive director to lead the organization during this crucial time for the state of West Virginia, during which The Hub aims to be a driving force behind community development efforts in a wide range of sectors and communities.
  • Facilitate conversations with state and community leaders to identify challenges and
   opportunities, and ways to address those challenges and opportunities;
  • Work in non-traditional ways and in a non-traditional organization; and
  • Have an unreasonable optimism about the state, its communities, and its people.
Read more here
Appalachian Regional Commission 
This position reports directly to the general counsel and serves as the assistant general counsel and as such has the opportunity to be involved in many of the activities of the general counsel. One other staff member is assigned to the office, providing non-professional legal support in the area of contract and grant administration and the J-1 Visa Waiver Program. As assistant general counsel, the incumbent will be responsible for providing legal counsel to senior and other staff of the agency on a broad range of topics, including but not limited to administrative and non-administrative law issues; legislative topics; state, local, and federal law as related to ARC business; contracts and grants; ethics; employment law; and personnel issues relating to EEO, pensions, benefits, and compensation.
Detailed job description here
Research Analyst 
Appalachian Regional Commission 
This position is within the Regional Planning and Research Division, which helps implement the ARC strategic investment plan through a variety of strategic planning, socioeconomic research, program evaluation, and technical assistance activities for the Commission. ARC routinely analyzes key economic, demographic, and quality-of-life factors that affect Appalachia's current and future development prospects. This research includes baseline data and trend analysis, mapping, economic impact analysis, and regional economic and transportation modeling. The aim of this research is to help ARC policy makers, administrators, and staff target resources effectively, and to provide high-quality research for the general public and researchers. This position provides support and analysis for a wide variety of research activities conducted internally by, and commissioned for, the division. This includes the collection, management, analysis, and dissemination of economic, demographic, and other data about Appalachia to a wide variety of audiences, both internally and externally.
Detailed job description here
Grants Management Specialist 
Appalachian Regional Commission 
ARC has two grants management specialist positions open in the Program Operations Division (POD). The positions provide staff support and technical assistance to a variety of stakeholder groups, including local governments, state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other ARC partners. Staff leverage their existing experience and gain new expertise to further the Commission's goals by coordinating development activity within the Region and encouraging project activity to promote growth and development.

Grants Management Specialist (Workforce Development): Candidates should have experience in at least one or more of the following areas of specialization: Workforce development; instructional systems design; training design and delivery; higher education administration; youth leadership and development.

Grants Management Specialist (Infrastructure): Candidates should have experience in at least one or more of the following areas of specialization: Physical infrastructure systems (water/wastewater); water resource management; local food systems; downtown/main street revitalization; rural brownfields. 
Detailed job description here
Executive Support Manager 
The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc.
The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. (CBT), founded in 1969 and chartered in 1970, is a professional, multigenerational ensemble company dedicated to the production of new works. Our mission is to give artistic voice to the issues and dreams of people who have been silenced by racism, classism, sexism, ageism, homophobia and other forms of oppression. CBT serves communities by returning their stories to them with honesty, dignity, and concern for the aesthetic of that particular community, helping culturally specific communities to re-define how they organize. The company works in partnership with other community artists, activists, cultural workers, storytellers, leaders and people who are simply concerned, creating original works through collaboration in a style based in storytelling and song. 

The Executive Support Manager will provide high level support to the Executive/Artistic Director. Responsibilities include project management/coordination, a public facing external relations role and administrative duties. Keen organization skills and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively are vital. The position will also include basic clerical duties such as meeting planning, report production, database management, and travel arrangements. The ideal candidate will enjoy working in a creative, ensemble environment with a focus on mission-driven, community impact.
Read job description here
Volunteer Opportunities 
Seeds of Fire Advisory Committee Applications
Applications Due January 30, 2016
The Highlander Center is looking for Southern and Appalachian youth, young adult and adult ally leaders to join the Seeds of Fire Advisory Committee, an intergenerational advisory committee to Highlander’s Seeds of Fire program. The Advisory Committee aims to increase the input and direction of youth and young adults in the Seeds of Fire programs and the overall intergenerational work of the Highlander Center. The Advisory Committee also serves as staff for at least one Seeds of Fire programmatic event, determines grantees for the Seeds of Fire Fund (as money permits), and develops leadership and organizational development skills for members. Advisory Committee members MUST be past participants of Seeds of Fire camp. For more information call or email Kierra Sims at 865-850-3333 or Kierra@highlandercenter.org.
Read more about Seeds of Fire here
WV Free
Volunteer Opportunities
What would WV Free do without wonderful volunteers? Volunteers help them get a lot accomplished in the office. Interested in Volunteering with WV FREE? They can always use an extra set of hands around the office or at events in the community! Let them know how you want to get involved below!
Get involved here
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities
Digital Archive Cataloging
Looking for a volunteer to help organize the digital files associated with the Birdhouse's history archiving project. Volunteer could work from anywhere. Must be computer literate and have some knowledge of file formats and organizational techniques. The birdhouse is a community space located in a historic neighborhood center in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Historic Sermon Transcription
Seeking a volunteer for transcribing hand-written sermons from Reverend Hargrave, a Black East Tennessee preacher who lived and worked in the area in the 1930's and 40's. Volunteer can work from anywhere. Must be computer literate and have some knowledge of file formats and organizational techniques.

If interested contact William Isom at MelangeAppalachia@gmail.com
Support Appalachian Community Fund
Shop With Your Kroger Card
Did you know you can supportAppalachian Community Fund (ACF) 
in your community  just by shopping at Kroger? It's easy when you enroll in Kroger CommunityRewards®! To get started, sign up with your Plus Card, and select Appalachian Community 
Fund. Once you're enrolled, you'll earn rewards for ACF every time you shop and use your Plus Card! To use your Kroger card to support ACF.
Shop at AmazonSmile
Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Appalachian Community Fund, Inc. whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.
AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. Support your charitable organization by starting your shopping atsmile.amazon.com. 

Enewsletters from Central Appalachia
Want to see your e-newsletters featured here? Email a link of your e-news to Patricia Jones.  
Email Patricia here