December 2011
Inside Appalachian Community Fund

Margo Miller Shares Words of Gratitude

Giving thanks and looking forward.
As we move toward the end of 2011, I cannot help but reflect on the transitions of the past year. A lot has changed here at ACF, staffing wise anyway, but your support and encouragement have remained consistent. Thank you.

In 2012, we have a big birthday to celebrate. ACF turns 25! Many of you have been with us since the beginning and the early years. Several of you have just started this walk with us. Wherever you have joined in this journey toward justice, we are counting on you to continue this walk beside us as we celebrate 25 years of Change not Charity in Central Appalachia. In advance, we thank you.

Looking forward, we know that things are changing everywhere. Not only is the region facing the issues that have always been in front of us, but there are new challenges and obstacles to be addressed every day. As executive director, part of my responsibility is to position us and guide us to respond to these challenges. For your input, support and insight for this challenge, thank you.

On the journey toward justice, our vision is to work for the day when Appalachia's land, air and water are saved from destruction and contamination; where the economy is stable, strong, and provides diverse employment opportunities for all people; where government and industry are accountable to human needs without exploitation of people and their health; where justice, equity, appreciation of diversity and celebration of our common humanity replace racism, sexism, heterosexism and other "isms"; where wealth and resources are shared equally; where all children grow up free from hatred and violence; and where justice overcomes oppression in any form.

Thank you for walking with us and we are looking forward to the next 25 years on our Journey toward Justice.

Peace, love and light,

Margo Miller

Praise the bridge that carried you over

~ George Coleman

Dear Friend of Appalachia,

What an exciting time! The Appalachian Community Fund is ending 2011 with preparations for 2012, our 25th Anniversary! As we enter this milestone, we will be taking time to reflect on our journey. We are excited to share the coming year with you and are grateful for the relationships that have brought us this far. We definitely believe you should "Praise the bridge that carried you over." So....thank you! Click here to read more . . .

The Appalachian Community Fund Joins Philanthropy's Promise

Philanthropy's Promise

Check out the video!

Philanthropy's Promise celebrates many of the country's most innovative and influential grantmaking institutions that seek to maximize the effectiveness of their grants and generate the greatest impact in their communities. Appalachian Community Fund joined the cause back in September. Each foundation that signs on to the initiative is committed to providing at least half their grant dollars for the intended benefit of underserved communities and at least one quarter of their grant dollars for supporting advocacy, community organizing and civic engagement to address the root causes of social problems. Learn more at www.philanthropyspromise.org

No Small Change

Funding Exchange Seeks to Revolutionize Giving

No Small Change
As a member fund of the Funding Exchange (FEX) network, the Appalachian Community Fund has been a part of a national movement to move resources to grassroots communities for almost 25 years. We are one of 16 regional social justice funds around the country all connected through the FEX network. Today FEX is working to further develop the network while making grants in places not currently served by member funds. FEX and ACF work together to ensure that local communities have stable financial support and are best positioned to inform national movement work. Join the national movement for sustainable, activist-advised resourcing for social justice work and you'll be supporting the Appalachian Community Fund. So donate, share and join No Small Change today!
Thank you,
Appalachian Community Fund


Appalachian Community Fund to Celebrate 25 Years in 2012

We need your help!

Happy Birthday to the Appalachian Community Fund! That's our theme for 2012. We are looking forward to celebrating the last 25 years of bringing Change, Not Charity to Central Appalachia. ACF awards grants to community-based organizations working for social, economic, racial and environmental justice. Since 1987, ACF has awarded over 5 million dollars to the work in this region.

As we celebrate our birthday we will need your help. ACF will be convening grantees past and present, organizing house parties in our four state region, collecting stories and reveling in the successes and victories of the good fight. We'll celebrate and continue to raise awareness and funding for the issues that are faced everyday in Central Appalachia. There are many ways that you can join the party:

  • Participate on our Host Committee! We'll be gathering folks from Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia to help us plan our silver anniversary.
  • If you are a grantee, former board member, former volunteer or employee - send us your story! How has ACF helped, motivated or carried you through in the last 25 years?
  • Volunteer to host a house party! Doesn't that sound like fun?
  • Provide resources for our ongoing celebration. Resources can include financial support, artist services, transportation, food/beverages and the list goes on!

Please contact Amy - amy@appalachiancommunityfund.org to get involved or for more information. Thank you for your continued support of ACF and Central Appalachia. Here's to another 25 years of Change, Not Charity!

News From the Region
Civil Society Institute & Synapse Energy Economics Report Released
Recommends focusing on safer, renewable energy
It is a myth that switching to safe, renewable energy would mean an unreliable U.S. power supply that also is too expensive to afford. That is a major conclusion of a new Synapse Energy Economics report prepared for the nonprofit Civil Society Institute that details a future with more energy efficiency and renewable energy and less reliance on coal and nuclear power. Titled "Toward a Sustainable Future for the U.S. Power Sector: Beyond Business as Usual 2011," the report outlines a realistic transition to a cleaners energy future that would result in a net savings of $83 billion over the next 40 years. The Synapse report also details other major benefits, including: the avoidance of tens of thousands of premature deaths due to pollution; the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs; sharp cuts in carbon pollution; and significant cuts in water consumption for power production. Click here to read the report.

Settlement Reached in Big Branch Mine Disaster
$209 million in fines for Alpha Natural Resources

In December 2011, Alpha Natural Resources agreed to pay $209 million in restitution and civil and criminal penalties for Massey Energy's role in the 2010 mining disaster at the Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County, West Virginia. It is said to be the largest settlement ever made in a government investigation of a mine disaster. The amount includes $46.5 million allocated to the families of the victims and those who were injured in the blast, and includes terms that protect Alpha - but not individual Massey executives - from prosecution (New York Times).

The Upper Big Branch Mine is in Raleigh County, West Virginia (population 78,859 in 2010 [U.S. Census Bureau]). The Big Branch Mine was under the operation of Massey Energy Company when it exploded, killing 29 men and causing life-altering injuries to another man. Prior to the deadly explosion, Massey Energy received 1,342 safety violations over a five year span (Washington Post, U.S. Mine and Health Safety Administration). A review of the explosion by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration stated that Massey and a subsidiary that ran the mine (Performance Coal Company) had been issued 369 citations and that 12 were deemed to have contributed to the explosion. In addition to the payment to victims and families ($1.5 million per family), the agreement includes $80 million to improve safety and infrastructure in all underground mines owned by Alpha and Massey; $48 million to establish a mine health and safety foundation; and about $35 million in fines and fees that Massey owed to the Mine Safety and Health Administration itself. News of the settlement came the same day that the Mine Safety and Health Administration imposed a $10.8 million fine (the largest in agency history) on Massey Energy.

In their Report to the Governor, the Governor's Independent Investigation Council drew the following conclusions:

  • The explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine could have been prevented.
  • The explosion was the result of failures of ba­sic safety systems identified and codified to protect the lives of miners.
  • Three layers of protection designed to safe­guard the lives of miners failed at Upper Big Branch. First, the company's pre-shift/on-shift examination sys­tem broke down so that safety hazards either were not recorded, or, if recorded, were not corrected. Second, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) failed to use all the tools at its disposal to ensure that the company was compliant with federal laws. Third, the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training (WVHST) failed in its role of enforcing state laws and serving as a watchdog for coal miners.
  • Regulatory agencies alone cannot ensure a safe workplace for miners. It is incumbent upon the coal industry to lead the way toward a better, safer industry and toward a culture in which safety of workers truly is paramount.
  • The politics of coal must be addressed at both a state and national level. Coal is a vital component in our nation's energy strategy. The men and women who mine it also are a national resource whose lives, safety and health must be safeguarded.
Click here to read the Report to the Governor and click here to read the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration report.

Thousand Kites Offers 12th Annual Calls From Home radio program
Call in a holiday wish now at 877-410-4863

Holiday Cheer from Prisoner's Families

The United States has 2.4 million people behind bars. Thousand Kites (Whitesburg, KY) wants you to lend your support to a powerful grassroots radio and community project that reaches into our nation's prisons and lets those inside know they are not forgotten. Thousand Kites is excited to offer community radio stations and individuals the 12th annual national radio program Calls from Home. Now in its 12th year, the program features phone calls from mothers and children, brothers and grandparents, sharing the intimate power of families speaking directly to their incarcerated loved ones. Poets and musicians read and sing across phone lines and prison walls. Calls from Home, produced in the coalfields of central Appalachia, reaches a national network of prisoners, their loved ones and public listeners through community radio in an effort to educate the public about the criminal justice system. Started in 1998 by media artist Nick Szuberla, the program was first a local response to the growing prison industry in his rural community.

Come Together KY

Call For Pr

Conference convenes March 30, 2012

The 16th Statewide Conference on LGBT equality and social justice is convening in Louisville, Kentucky from March 30-April 1, 2012. "Come Together, Move Forward" is now accepting proposals of programs, presentations, workshops, and caucuses. The deadline to submit is January 1st, 2012. Come Together Kentucky is a conference for college students, high school students, and community members who want to learn more about LGBT identity, social justice, overcoming bullying, and changing the world around them. The week-long program will instruct, encourage, and invite you to reach for and achieve your goals and aspirations as an activist in the LGBT political, social, and educational movement in Kentucky.

Development Director Needed at Appalachia Citizens' Law Center
Whitesburg, Kentucky
Click here to view job description

The Appalachian Citizens' Law Center seeks a candidate with strong inter-personal skills, excellent writing abilities, and fundraising knowledge for the newly created position of Development Director. The Development Director will manage and coordinate fundraising activities and events for ACLC and assist with outreach. The Development Director will work closely with ACLC's Director, staff, and board to develop and implement fundraising strategies while also managing ACLC's public outreach efforts on a day-to-day basis. Visit ACLC's website for more information: http://appalachianlawcenter.org/


Barbara Kingsolver On Occupy Movement, Johnson City, Tennessee

Please visit http://occupywriters.com/works/by-barbara-kingsolver to read the full article.

"Every system on earth has its limits. We have never been here before, not right here exactly, you and me together in the golden and gritty places all at once, on deadline, no fooling around this time, no longer walking politely around the dire colossus, the so-called American Way of consecrated corporate profits and crushed public compassion. There is another American way. This is the right place, we found it. On State of Franklin we yelled until our throats hurt that we were the 99% because that's just it. We are."
West Virginia
Sierra Club, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and Public Justice Foundation Achieve Record Settlement Against Fola Coal Company
Victory for West Virginia
A settlement has been reached with Fola Coal Company that will require the company to clean up pollution in Boardtree Branch, a tributary of Twentymile Creek in Nicholas County, West Virginia. According to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Boardtree Branch has become "biologically impaired" as a result of toxic runoff from Fola's Surface Mine No. 3, a mountaintop removal coal mine that covers two square miles and is situated above the stream. The settlement resolves a lawsuit that was brought after Fola's own monitoring data showed that Boardtree Branch was toxic to aquatic life and contained levels of electrical conductivity (a measure of impurities in water) up to ten times the benchmark for biological health. This settlement marks the first time that such monitoring results have been used to establish violations of West Virginia's narrative water quality standards. It also sets an important precedent because many other mines in Appalachia have the same problem. The EPA recently found that nine out of every ten streams located downstream from surface coal mining operations are biologically impaired. Under the settlement, Fola (a subsidiary of CONSOL Energy) must restore the stream to a healthy state. If it doesn't, the coal company will have to install an expensive system to treat the water. The settlement also requires Fola to pay $200,000 to a land trust to support sustainable development and land use planning. The cleanup will be overseen by an independent aquatic ecologist and an independent engineer. View the full settlement here.

Creative Gift Giving Ideas
AppleaDay Meet Apple-a-Day Jewelry!
One of ACF's many creative donors.

Need something beautiful to give or enjoy for the holiday season? Apple-a-Day jewelry will donate 25% of profit from jewelry sales to the Appalachian Community Fund! Here's some history from the owner, Donna Kouri:

"The love for jewelry runs deep in my family. Here is the story: It was 1942, my mom's family had 20 minutes to pack what they could carry and leave before their town would be bombed in Prussia (now Germany) during World War II. My grandmother, Oma, knew to take the silver and her jewelry in order for her family to survive the walk to find refuge in Denmark. The road would be very difficult to endure since they were traveling by foot in the winter months. It was because of the silver and jewelry she was able to bargain with families who lived along the road to feed her four children. Many families perished in route; yet my mom's family made it to Denmark safely. Not only did my mom's entire family survive, but also the love of beautiful and hand-crafted jewelry endured! In respect to my brave Oma, who only stood five feet tall, I decided to carry-on the act of feeding those in need because of jewelry. 25% of purchases go directly to the Appalachian Community Fund. This organization provides food, medical attention, and education to families right in our own backyard. At this posting, just over $700 has been donated because of Apple-a-Day jewelry. Can I tell you how good that feels!"

Please support this wonderful artist! Receive a beautiful piece of handmade jewelry and help ACF.

Click here to visit Apple-a-Day's website: http://appleadayjewelry.com/

Gifts for Activists and Organizers
Give the gift of knowledge.
Robinhood Was Right
Robin Hood Was Right: A Guide to Giving Your Money for Social Change
By Chuck Collins and Pam Rogers with Joan P. Garner
"At a time when the gap between the rich and poor in our country has become enormous, here is a refreshing antidote: a book that gives those of us who are not poor some practical advice on how to help narrow that gap. What is crucially important about Robin Hood Was Right is that the authors insist on going beyond traditional philanthropy. Their objective is long-term and fundamental: to change the social conditions responsible for poverty and other forms of social justice. This book is bold in its philosophy and down to earth in its applications of that philosophy." ~Howard Zinn

We Gave Away a Fortune

We Gave Away a Fortune

By Christopher Mogil and Anne Slepian with Peter Woodrow

We Gave Away a Fortune mixes stories, exercises and them chapters into a provocative handbook for re-thinking our society's mindless quest for wealth, power and privilege. It helps us all, rich and poor, reconsider the role of money in our lives, culture and economy.


You Can Do It!

A Volunteer's Guide to Raising Money for your Group in Words and Pictures

By Vicki Quatmann

Originally published by the Southern Empowerment Project is now in the hands of the Appalachian Community Fund. The late Vicki Quatmann, fundraiser, trainer, activist and a founding member of ACF, shares her invaluable thoughts and experiences through words and experiences in this engaging and thought-provoking manual.


Si, Todos Podemos!

The Spanish edition of You Can Do It!

By Vicki Quatmann, Translated by Maria Pedro Bruce


We Make Change
We Make Change; Community Organizers Talk About What They Do - and Why

By Kristin Layng Szakos and Joe Szakos

This book explores the world of community organizing through the voices of real people working in the field, in small towns and city neighborhoods - women and men of different races and economic backgrounds, ranging in age from those in their twenties to those in their sixties. Fourteen in-depth profiles tell the life stories of a cross-section of the diverse people who choose the life of an organizer. Other chapters, focus on issues of organizing, are tapestries of experience woven from the 81 interviews the authors conducted.


Click here to download an order form.

About Us
Mission Statement
The Appalachian Community Fund funds and encourages grassroots social change in Central Appalachia. ACF works to build a sustainable base of resources to support community-led organizations seeking to overcome and address issues of race, economic status, gender, sexual identity, and disability. As a community-controlled fund, ACF offers leadership to expand and strengthen the movement for social change through its practices and policies.
25 Years Working for Social Change
Since its founding in 1987, ACF has awarded over $5 million for community organizing and social justice work to more than 300 grassroots organizations in Central Appalachia. Out motto - Change, Not Charity - reflects our vision to support social change organizing and our conviction that, by networking and partnering with organizations working to address the root causes of social, racial, economic and environmental problems facing Central Appalachia every day, we can create more just, equitable healthy communities with opportunities for every one. ACF has had a significant impact in our region. Please visit success stories and current grantees to find out more.

Appalachian Community Fund
507 South Gay Street
Suite 1120
Knoxville, TN 37902
865-523-5783 phone
865-523-1896 fax

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