September 2012
Inside Appalachian Community Fund

Invest in Central Appalachia

Open a Field of Interest or Donor-Advised Fund

If you want to make an annual contribution of $5,000 or more to ACF and have a very specific focus for the issues or organizations you wish to support, you could create a field of interest fund or consider opening a donor-advised fund. These funds are great ways to champion the specific causes which are especially important to you while also receiving the administrative support and expertise of ACF's staff and board.

Do you want to be part of the change? Contributing to ACF's general fund, a field of interest fund, or creating your own fund can simplify your giving process and further your personal vision for social change grantmaking. Please contact us at 865-523-5783 or info@appalachiancommunity to find out more about establishing a field of interest or donor-advised fund.

Keep making change ya'll!

Peace, love and light,

Margo Miller

Join Us As We Honor Stephen L. Fisher With an Appalachian Hero Award!

Please join the Appalachian Community Fund

as we honor

Stephen L. Fisher
activist, author, teacher and researcher

with an Appalachian Hero Award

for his commitment to civic engagement and social justice in Appalachia.

Light hors d'oeuvres will be served.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

3:00 - 5:00 pm

The Virginia Ballroom & Abingdon Senior Center

300 Senior Drive

Abingdon, VA 24210


Open to the public. Suggested donation $25.

If you are not able to attend the event, you can make a donation in Steve's honor online at www.appalachiancommunityfund.org.

To charge by phone or for more information:

Please call 865.523.5783

Steve is a long-term supporter of ACF and social justice. He donated the royalties of his book, Fighting Back in Appalachia, to ACF in 1993. In 2012, he co-edited the book, Transforming Places: Lessons from Appalachia, with Barbara EllenSmith, and they decided to donate those royalties to ACF as well. He is a former ACF board member and a long-time and current donor.

The Appalachian Community Fund (ACF) is a publicly supported, non-profit grantmaking organization that provides resources and support to grassroots organizations working to overcome the underlying causes of poverty and injustice in Central Appalachia (East Tennessee, Eastern Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and West Virginia).

We pool resources from a range of sources including individuals, businesses, and foundations to support community-led efforts and movement for social change, to support the training and leadership development necessary to strengthen the work in our region, and to cultivate the conditions for lasting, long-term change to be possible.

ACF awards grants to community-based organizations working for social, economic, racial and environmental justice. We support communities with little or no access to other financial resources and grassroots groups which are often too small, too new, or working on issues that are too controversial for traditional funding sources. ACF also funds long-term strategic efforts to address the long-term problems of Central Appalachia.

Mark Your Calendars!

Join us in Celebrating and Strengthening Work for Social Justice

in Central Appalachia with Bluegrass and BBQ at the

8th Annual New York City Benefit for Appalachian Community Fund.

Come and help us honor the event founder, Kevin Jennings, as we present him with an Appalachian Hero Award for his dedication to the social change movement in Appalachia, New York and nationally.

BBQ and all the fixin's will be served as well as a special musical performance.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

7 PM to 9 PM

The Sky Lounge

635 West 42nd Street

New York, New York

Buy a Ticket, Become a Sponsor, or Make a Donation

Tickets are $95 per person

Sponsorship Levels






Click here to make a donation.

To Charge by Phone or for More Information:

Please call 865.523.5783

Visit our website www.appalachiancommunityfund.org for more details or to make a donation.

A Special Event: Sister City-Sister Mountain Holler

Connecting Mountain Lovers

Do you want to connect with New Yorkers concerned about ending mountaintop removal mining? The group New York Loves Mountains wants to hear from you. NY Loves Mountains was co-founded in 2008 by Stephanie Pistello and Sarah Moon to educate New Yorkers about Appalachia's suffering when Times Square is lit up from mountaintop removal mining.

NY Loves Mountains is organizing a unique program called "Sister City - Sister Mountain Holler" to bring Appalachians and New Yorkers together to find common ground on protecting land and water. If you live in a mountain hollow community of Appalachia threatened by mountaintop removal and can get a group of friends together to form a group, please let us know.

New Yorkers are just as angry about the prospect of slickwater hydrofracking in New York as we in Appalachia are angry about mountaintop removal mining. And New Yorkers are fighting back. Want to know about their experiences? Want to tell them about yours? Want to plan joint organizing actions together?

Please contact New York Loves Mountains: info@newyorklovesmountains.org

For the Mountains,

Paul Ciavarri, NY Statewide Coordinator

(585) 734-4866

Sarah Moon, Board President

In Loving Memory of Larry Gibson, Keeper of the Mountain
Photo by Mark Scmerling
"What do you have so precious to your own circle of life that you don't have no price on it? What would it be for you? And what would you do to protect it? And how far would you go? For me, it's a way of life. For me, it's walking through the woods. For me, it's listening to the critters when I'm out there. For me, its Appalachia." ~ Larry Gibson
Photo by Earthjustice
Larry Gibson, long-time environmental activist, died of a heart attack Sunday, September 9, while working on Kayford Mountain, the family home in Raleigh County where he spent the last decades of his life protecting from the coal mining practice known as mountaintop removal.

Kayford was the site of Larry's birth, the final resting place of 300 ancestors stretching back to the 18th century, and the site of Larry's annual 4th of July festival celebrating life in the mountains. As part of his effort to preserve the mountains, Larry traveled across the country, to schools, churches and a wide range of public gatherings where he spread his simple gospel about the mountains: "Love em or leave em; just don't destroy em."

A private funeral is planned, and Larry's family has requested that persons wishing to express condolences make donations to Keeper of the Mountains Foundation, which Larry founded in 2004 to support mountain communities. A public memorial service will be announced at a later time. Larry is survived by his wife, Carol, two sons Cameron and Larry, Jr. and his daughter, Victoria. He was sixty-six years old.
Article reprinted from mountainkeeper.blogspot.com. Please follow the links below to read more about Larry's legacy.

A Hero Doesn't Get Used To This
A Hero Doesn't Get Used To This
Larry Gibson - An American Hero Remembered
Larry Gibson - An American Hero Remembered

News From the Region

Appalachian Studies Association Invites Proposals

Event Scheduled for March 22-24 in Boone, NC
Event We invite participation in the 36th annual Appalachian Studies Conference organized by the Appalachian Studies Association. This year's theme is "Communities in Action, Landscapes in Change." We encourage innovative proposals that explore all types of communities across the Appalachian region-historical, contemporary, and imagined ones-and the landscapes and environmental spaces that impact, and are impacted by, those communities. Formats might include:
  • Individual scholarly research papers and sessions
  • Formed sessions
  • Poster sessions presenting scholarly research OR documenting community work
  • Panels and community presentations
  • Performance or sharing of films, documentaries, videos, poetry, music, plays, art, and writing
  • Roundtable conversations on contemporary issues, e.g. activism in the region, professional development, or a newcomer's orientation to Appalachian studies
Deadline to submit a proposal is October 5, 2012. Click here for more information.
Impoverished Americans Face Environmental Health Problems
Article by James Gerken, Reprinted from The Huffington Post

Chronic poverty grips regions across the United States, and leaves urban and rural residents alike in struggles for employment, housing and some of life's basic necessities. It often also leaves poor Americans exposed to pollution and environmental degradation which can produce a range of health problems. Natural resource extraction has affected environmental quality in areas of the U.S., leaving impoverished communities exposed. Appalachia, a region with a poverty rate nearly five percent higher than the national average in 2008, is home to mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining. MTR, which uses explosives to expose coal seams under the surfaces of mountains, has been the target of protests across the region as the coal industry challenged and defeated EPA rules in court. Please click here to read more.

National Immigrant Integration Conference

September 22-25 in Baltimore, Maryland

The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) programed The National Immigrant Integration Conference to engage bipartisan experts and organizations in the immigrant and refugee policy, advocacy, government, research and social service arena to discuss innovative and effective ways to expand and improve integration for immigrants and refugees on a local and national level. This year's conference will be held at the Baltimore Hilton in Baltimore, Maryland from September 22-25, 2012. We expect that the 2012 conference will draw between 800-1000 participants, and will deepen the understanding and strategic thinking about what constitutes immigrant integration and how we move forward integration nationally and across many different states and cities nationwide. This conference is the signature event of the NPNA, a partnership of twelve immigrant rights coalitions from across the country. Please click here for more information.

Appalachian Public Interest Environmental Law Conference

Registration Now Open

APIEL brings together activists, attorneys, students, scientists and concerned citizens working for environmental justice throughout Appalachia and surrounding states. The conference features a series of workshops and dialogues led by activists, lawyers and scientists with the goal of exchanging information, sharing skills, and fostering collaboration between the grassroots, the bar, and future lawyers and policy-makers. Workshops address the region's most pressing ecological problems, as well as the underlying laws, policies and institutional dynamics that have enabled these issues to occur. Join us at the University of Tennessee College of Law October 26-28, 2012. Click here to read more.

Job Opportunities in Central Appalachia

The Alliance for Appalachia Seeks Operations Coordinator

Deadline to Apply is September 24

The Alliance is a regional coalition with the goals of ending mountaintop removal coal mining, putting a halt to destructive coal technologies, and supporting a sustainable, just economy in Appalachia. Click here to read the job description and directions for applying.

The Highlander Research and Education Center Releases RFP for the Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project

Click Here to Visit HREC's Website

This position is part of Highlander's Education Team, and works directly with the Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project Manager and the Cultural Programs Coordinator to support the Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project residencies and the cultural organizing institute. Duties include logistical and administrative support, records management, documentation and evaluation. A strong understanding of the role of arts and cultural in organizing is imperative. Please contact Tufara Waller Muhammad or Marquez Rhine with questions. RFP's have been released for the following:

The RReNEW Collective Needs Interns

Click Here for More Information

The RReNEW Collective is looking for interns to fill three specific positions, described in detail below. These positions are:

  • Event Planning Intern, to play a lead role in organizing Mountain Justice Spring Break (Va) and volunteer work days at the RReNEW house
  • Networking Intern, to build the organizational capacity of the RReNEW Collective
  • Caretaker Intern, to improve the livability and sustainability of the RReNEW house and garden.
Funding Opportunities

2012 Grassroots Communities Mining Mini-Grant Program

Deadline to Apply is October 1, 2012

Indigenous Environmental Network and Western Mining Action Network are partnering to offer mini-grants. The goal of the Mining Mini-grants Program is to support and enhance the capacity building efforts of mining-impacted communities in the U.S. and Canada to assure that mining projects do not adversely affect human, cultural, and the ecological health of communities. Applications are accepted three times a year: February 1, June 1, and October 1. Applicants will be notified of the funding decision within one month of the application deadline. There will be an "emergency" fund for extremely time-sensitive projects that fall between grant cycles (i.e., needs that could not have been anticipated at the time of the last cycle and cannot wait to be addressed until the next cycle). Requests must be project-specific for an immediate need. Priority will be given to projects that build bridges and community across socio-economic and cultural lines. Click here for more information.

Do You Work With Young Men of Color?

Deadline to Apply is October 10, 2012

Forward Promise Innovation Grants: Promoting Opportunities for the Health and Success of Young Men of Color is a new initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that aims to improve the health of middle school- and high school-aged boys and young men of color, as well as their opportunities for success in school, work, and life.

Click here for more information.

Catholic Campaign for Human Development Invites Pre-Applications

Deadline to Apply is November 1, 2012

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), established by the Catholic bishops of the United States, is committed to supporting organizations led by low-income individuals as they work to break the cycle of poverty and improve their communities. CCHD offers two grant programs, Community Development grants and Economic Development Grants. Community Development grants support efforts that demonstrate a commitment to the dignity of the human person. Funded groups, led by people living in poverty, work to address the root causes of poverty by nurturing solidarity between the poor and non-poor and facilitating the participation of people in decisions that perpetuate poverty in their lives. Economic Development grants support initiatives that include the voice of the poor and marginalized in developing new businesses that offer good jobs and/or develop assets that will be owned and enjoyed by local communities. Pre-applications for both programs may be submitted between September 1 and November 1, 2012. (Organizations are encouraged to submit their pre-application prior to the November 1 deadline.) Click here to apply.


ACLC Client Rick Handshoe Struggles for Clean Water

Shared With Permission from the Appalachian Citizens Law Center

In July, Appalachian Citizens Law Center attorneys Mary Cromer and Steve Sanders and summer legal interns Leslie Couvillion and Will Emmons visited the home of our client Rick Handshoe (pictured above) to learn first-hand about his struggle to save his family's homeplace from devastating water pollution. ACLC is currently representing Mr. Handshoe in his case against the coal company responsible for polluted water discharging from the mountainside directly above his house. Not only is the polluted water destroying the stream that runs through Mr. Handshoe's property, the water also puts Mr. Handshoe and family at risk of a catastrophic landslide. We are seeking to have the coal company do what is necessary to treat the polluted water before it reaches the streams and ensure that a landslide will not occur. Click here to access the ACLC's website and here to access ACLC's enewsletter.

Mountain Biking Festival

Eco-friendly, Sustainable Tourism for Letcher County, Kentucky

If you enjoy mountain biking you will want to know about the East Kentucky Mountain Bike Festival, happening September 28-30 on top of Pine Mountain in Letcher County, KY. This festival is an attempt to help jump-start eco-friendly, sustainable tourism in the beautiful mountains of southeastern Kentucky. Pine Mountain is 120 miles long and offers many opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and trail riding. Click here for more information.


Community Shares

Community Shares Campaign Kickoff

You Are Invited

Come learn about Community Shares member groups and have a blast at our 2012 Campaign Kickoff. We'll meet on Thursday, September 20, 2012, from 5:30pm-6:30pm at Ijams Nature Center (located at 2915 Island Home Avenue, Knoxville, TN). Enjoy music by Jubilee Community Arts featuring Darrell Acuff and Claire Miller, beer, wine and soft drinks, and hors de oeuvres. Click here to visit Community Shares' website.

SOCM Knoxville Chapter Meeting

Partner with Concerned Citizens in East Tennessee

Come out on Monday, September 24, for Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment's Knoxville Chapter meeting. The meeting will begin at 6pm and will conclude at 7:30pm. The meeting will be held at Lawson McGhee Public Library. Please contact Katie Greer for more information, katie@socm.org.

Come Out and Support Knoxville's Young People

Golf for Youth!

Come out and golf in Tribe One's first annual golf tournament. 2 person swat, best ball. Mixed teams- men, women, children. $65 per player/$130 per team. Be sure and check out our tee and sponsorship packets. All proceeds benefit Tribe One and enable us to provide programming to our community for FREE. All players receive a gift, breakfast, lunch, green and cart fees. Donated sponsor goodies will be available for pick up. Be sure to stop by the table! Prizes will be awarded to the first and second place teams as well as, closest to the pin, hole in one contest and numerous door prizes. Tribe One's mission is to prepare underserved youth for active citizenship in their community through leadership development, educational enrichment, and entrepreneurial training within a supportive environment. Email golffortribeone@tribeone.com for more information.

Knoxville Brewers' Jam Set for October 6, 2012
Support Work Place Giving for Social Change

The 16th Annual Knoxville Brewers' Jam will be held Saturday, October 6, 2012 the World's Fair Park in Knoxville, TN. We'll be celebrating great handmade American craft beer, music, and food. The festival, brought to you by and benefiting Community Shares of Tennessee, is held during the glorious East Tennessee autumn in the jewel-like setting of the World's Fair Park South Performance Lawn. You'll enjoy unlimited samples from craft brewers pouring fresh beers of every taste, color, strength, and style. As the Jam has grown in popularity, its crowds have grown as well. Ticket sales are limited in an effort to make the event even more enjoyable for the brewers and Jam attendees. We are hoping this will give everyone a bit more elbow room and less time in bathroom and beer lines. Please click here for more information.


The Alliance for Appalachia Builds Capacity in Virginia

Building Strategy, Building Allies

It's been a busy August at The Alliance for Appalachia. We wanted to share an update about our recent Alliance work. This month we hosted two big gatherings back to back: Our August Steering Meetings and a Communications Strategy Summit. On August 14 and 15, 2012 we hosted a Regional Steering Meeting in Southern Virginia, which was attended by 30 individuals representing our member organizations along with other allied groups. Our gathering had the following goals:

  • Reflect on the new political landscape: mining lay-offs, energy's move toward gas, etc.
  • Make a plan to act on the new political landscape.
  • Solidify calendar and priorities for the next 6 months.
  • Provide input and direction to regular business and events.
The first day was focused on regional visioning designed to allow The Alliance to wrestle meaningfully with the evolving political context of our region. These conversations allowed us to make plans rooted in both the political moment and the growing work of our coalition. Click here to read the full update.

Appalachian Authors' Panel Scheduled at Emory & Henry College

Comparing Themes, Contrasting Works

Come out to the Van Dyke Center, Board of Visitors Lounge, on Thursday, September 20, at 7:30pm. Attendees are in for a treat when this panel of seminal figures in the fields of Appalachian studies, social justice and place-based scholarship gather to discuss cross-cutting themes of their recent books. Readings, conversation and thoughtful reflections make this an event not to be missed.

  • Helen Matthews Lewis: Living Social Justice in Appalachia by Helen Lewis, Patricia Beaver, Judith Jennings
  • Transforming Places: Lessons from Appalachia by Stephen L. Fisher and Barbara Ellen Smith
  • The Poco Field: An American Story of Place by Talmage A. Stanley

Come Out for the High Knob Naturalist Rally

Learn About Nature and Have a Good Time

The High Knob Naturally is a day for the community to learn more about our region's unique ecology through a series of nature hikes and lectures. Events include canoeing, survival skills, snakes and salamanders, Appalachian ecology and much more. This year we will be hosting our first High Knob 5K in conjunction with the rally. The rally will be held on October 6 from 8:30am-4pm. Call 276-639-8185 for more info or visit The Clinch Coalition's website by clicking here.

West Virginia
Volunteer with Coal River Mountain Watch
Prepare for Mountain Justice Fall Summit
Coal River Mountain Watch (CRMW) seeks volunteers to live in their volunteer house located in Rock Creek, WV in the heart of the southern WV mountains. Volunteers will have the opportunity to work on environmental justice issues while learning organizing skills. Through the first hand experiences of working within community, volunteers can gain valuable skills, meaningful connections, and experience working with a grassroots nonprofit. The Mountain Justice Fall Summit will be taking place at the CRMW volunteer house the weekend of October 19-21, and we need volunteers for September and October to make this event a success. We also have ongoing projects throughout the fall and winter. Click here to apply. You may also email strangur@graffiti.net.

What Is Mountain Justice?
What Is Mountain Justice?

Mountain Justice Fall Summit Set for October

Prepare to Stand Against Mountaintop Removal

Join us Oct. 19-21 in Rock Creek, West Virginia for a weekend of workshops and trainings to prepare you to take action this year against mountaintop removal (MTR) and see MTR first-hand. This summit Following the weekend of trainings there will be intensive sessions including direct action and community service projects for people who are interested in spending more time working in the Appalachian region. The Summit will help you develop skills and gain valuable experience to help your organization in the struggle to stop mountain top removal. We are currently seeking organizers, promoters and funders. Click here for the flyer and here for the website. Contact stranger@graffiti.net for more information.

What is the Future of Coal and Gas in West Virginia?

Report Provides Data on Jobs, Taxes & Future Projections

The State of Working West Virginia 2012 In Depth: The Gas Boom and Coal Bust, by Sean O'Leary and Ted Boettner, is now available. Please click here to access the report.

See Who's Working for Change in Central Appalachia

Want to Learn More About Social Change Work in Appalachia?

About Us


To get involved contact Margo Miller via

email margo@appalachiancommunityfund.org or by

phone 865-523-5783. Thank you for your continued

support of ACF and Central Appalachia. Here's to

another 25 years of Change, Not Charity!

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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