December 2013

Rest in Peace Madiba


Let us all remember and be inspired by his example.






Inside Appalachian Community Fund



Thanks to everyone that took the time to fill out our Regional Assessment Survey. We are extremely excited to begin the process of compiling and analyzing the data. We hope to have something for you to see in our Spring Newsletter.


Also, thanks to everyone who has responded to our End-of-Year Fundraising Appeal. We still have a long ways to go and could sure use your help.


Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, you have an opportunity to double the impact of your gift.  All online gifts made will be matched up to $5,000 until December 31, 2013. 
Will you answer the call and help us reach our goal? I hope so!!!


Well, back to the workshop! There's plenty of work to do. I'll chat with ya'll in 2014.




Peace, love and light,


Executive Director


We Shall Overcome Fund Regional Strategy Session

Beginning in January 2014, the Highlander Center will present the We Shall Overcome Fund Regional Strategy Sessions.

ACF is co-hosting the session in Tennessee, January 10-12. 

These sessions are a special initiative launched in the fall of 2013 to bring together those working in African American Communities in the Southeastern Region. 


We hope you will join us. Spaces are limited so please RSVP.


All participants must RSVP at www.highlandercenter.org
Contact for more information: 865-933-3443
www.highlandercenter.org or tufara@highlandercenter.org


News From the Region

Banking on Coal 

Connection Between Banks and the Coal Industry

This study takes a look at the "hot spots" of global coal production and identifies the most aggressive companies that are driving the expansion of the sector. More importantly, this study asks the question: Who is bankrolling these operations? Until recently, little was known about banks' responsibility for the climate crisis. While most large commercial banks provide annual figures of their investments into renewable energy, they neither track nor publish their investments in the coal industry. This report presents new research on the portfolios of over 100 banks and their responsibility for the suicidal growth rates of the coal sector. It provides a Who's Who list of the financial institutions undermining the Earth's climate system and our common future. Read full report here.

New Appalachian Fellowship Program Aims to Rebuild Region's Economy

Appalachian Transition Fellowship

A new fellowship program will begin next year, aiming to help communities in Central Appalachia rebuild their economies. The Appalachian Transition Fellowship Program is a project of the non-profit Highlander Center, based in Eastern Tennessee. Early next year, it will select 15 communities in the Appalachian areas of Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia and North Carolina. With input from those communities, they'll select 15 fellows to undertake one-year economic development projects. Program coordinator Elandria Williams says this fellowship program is different than programs that have provided support to Appalachia in the past. "This is very different. What we're saying is actually the leaders we have to engage in, the emerging people we must, we must invest in are people from our area," she said.

In that vein, the only people who are eligible for the fellowships are people who have actually lived in Appalachia, whether they're from there or transplants, and have demonstrated commitment to the region. They'll be paid $24,000 for their fellowship year, and the 15 host communities will have a hand in selecting their fellows. Fellowship applications are due in February. Apply here


4th Annual Mildred Haun Conference
The Voices of Appalachia, 
February 7-8, 2014

The Mildred Haun Conference is an attempt to explore and define Appalachian literature and culture for ourselves and for the outside world. We are seeking individual and panel presentations from faculty members, independent scholars, community members, and students who have an interest in any aspect of Appalachian literature and culture. For registration information and other conference details click here.

Job Opportunities in Central Appalachia

The West Virginia Community Development Hub VISTA 

Recruitment Announcement

The West Virginia Community Development Hub VISTA Umbrella is excited to recruit for the following VISTA positions for qualified applicants by January 3, 2014. HubCAP II Communities: We have six opportunities in HubCAP Communities across the state. HubCAP (the Hub's Communities of Achievement Program) is a challenging, outcome-based, performance-driven initiative designed for Community Collaboration Teams (CCTs) that are serious about implementing major, locally-defined projects in their community.  The expectation from the beginning is that the CCTs, Community Performance Coaches and Hub staff will collaborate to successfully achieve positive improvement in each HubCAP community. To view VISTA opportunities click herePlease contact Luci Mosesso at l.mosesso@wvhub.org with questions or to apply. Thanks!


High Rocks

Program Coordinator

High Rocks is actively recruiting qualified candidates for a full-time staff position at High Rocks. High Rocks Educational Corporation, an award-winning non-profit leadership program in Hillsboro, WV with the mission to educate, empower and inspire young women in West Virginia is seeking a qualified candidate for a Program Coordinator. The coordinator will work directly with youth and volunteers to implement year-round programming and will also be responsible for the primary coordination of college access programming, admission and recruitment, the Teaching Project, the internship program and marketing. He/she will also represent High Rocks in a larger community of regional networks and partnerships. Applications can be e-mailed to Margaret Emanuel, Lead Program Coordinator at margaret@highrocks.org. For more information click here


Opportunity to Work with Headwaters as a VISTA
Whitesburg, Kentucky

Headwaters is currently seeking resumes for an AmeriCorps VISTA position in Whitesburg, Kentucky, to assist with improving water quality in eastern Kentucky.  This is a one-year, renewable position that will begin in February 2014.

Headwaters is a nonprofit, grassroots organization whose mission is to improve streams in Letcher County by organizing stream clean-ups and instilling a sense of responsibility for water resources through environmental education. More information about this position is available here.


Communities In Schools
Executive Director 
Communities In Schools of Greenbrier County (CISGC) is a local West Virginia affiliate of the nation's leading drop-out prevention program, Communities In Schools. CISGC's mission is "to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life."  CISGC links educators with the community to bring local talents and resources into the schools and create a network of support that keeps kids in school and engaged in learning. As a result, teachers are free to teach and students have the opportunity and skills to focus on learning. Communities In Schools of Greenbrier County is now hiring a full-time Executive Director to work in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Qualifications: Bachelor's degree and 2 years experience in non-profit administration, marketing, or related field. High level of interpersonal and communications skills a must. Experience in resource development and a willingness to be actively engaged in the community. Excellent organization, training, coordination, and leadership skills. Sensitivity to needs of youth and diverse ethnic populations. Those applying please submit a resume, cover letter, and list of references to CISGC at PO Box 1188, Lewisburg, WV 24901 or send electronically to kgroover@cisgc.org. Please call 304-520-4938 or click here for additional information.


West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition

Seeks Program Coordinator

The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition seeks a dynamic and committed individual to help build and support West Virginia's rapidly growing local food system. Since 2010, the Coalition has supported a statewide network of West Virginians working to grow food and farm businesses while improving access to healthy local food. The position of Program Coordinator requires a special individual who is willing to work hard, think outside the box, be an advocate for farmers and consumers, and build partnerships outside of traditional "silos" in order to continue the Coalition's success in promoting food and agriculture as a critical part of West Virginia's economy and well-being. The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is currently located in Fayette County, WV, in the heart of Appalachia and site of the New River Gorge. The full job description, including this announcement, can be downloaded here.

Kentucky Environmental Foundation 

Seeks Executive Director

Kentucky Environmental Foundation (KEF), a 23-year old nonprofit located in Berea, KY, announces a search for its third executive director. KEF was founded as a citizen-based environmental organization focused on finding a safe way to dispose of chemical weapons stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Madison County Kentucky. The Foundation's work includes alliances with other chemical weapons sites in the United States as well as other countries. After significant and unprecedented success in finding alternative methods for disposing of chemical weapons in Madison County and at other sites, KEF expanded its work to include additional areas of environmental health and justice concern for Kentuckians.  

KEF seeks a leader with broad-based skills and personal qualities, who will engender respect for the institution s/he serves. These include: passion for the causes that the Foundation serves, intellectual acumen, idealism, social responsibility, devoted work and service ethics, and a respect for all people. Personal characteristics of warmth, integrity, authenticity, a sense of humor, and respect for differences and diverse perspectives are all important. This search is being led by the ED Search Committee. Prospective candidates may contact the Search Committee by emailing Info@KyEnvironmentalFoundation.org. 


Appalachian Sound Archives Fellowships 2013-2014

Berea College

The Fellowship program now has two purposes.  Continuing as in the past, one is to encourage the scholarly use of Berea's existing non-commercial audio / video collections. The other, new for 2013-1014, is to support new documentation projects that produce primary source material of lasting value for future research use in the Berea College Archives. Awards in support of either type of research are for one month with stipends of $3,000. Fellowships for the remainder of the fiscal year must be taken up between January and June 2014. All Fellowship supported research must be finished by June 30, 2014. Fellows are expected to be in residence during the term of the fellowship and are encouraged to participate in campus and community activities. The deadline for proposals is December 6, 2013 for January through June 2014. For information about Berea's Sound Archives and other traditional music collections, click hereFor additional information about Berea's Appalachian Sound Archives Fellowships, click here.  
Funding Opportunities
Arcus Foundation Requests Proposals for Forums to Promote Dialogue on LGBT Equality and Ape Conservation

Leading Global Foundation Advancing Pressing Social Justice and Conservation Issues

The Arcus Foundation announced the formal launch of Arcus Forum, a series of public conversations to encourage dialogue on a range of issues related to the Foundation's work on LGBT rights and ape conservation. The forums will feature speakers and content intended to serve as a vehicle for informing and nurturing advocates, and increasing visibility for leading actors and thinkers working to advance justice in society and in nature. 
While Arcus will determine some topics, speakers and content, the Foundation will also invite proposals from organizations and advocates to either be featured in the series or to collaborate or co-create a forum. The Foundation is currently welcoming proposals from advocates and organizations for events to take place in New York City during the first half of 2014. The first of next year's forums is expected to take place in March. Interested organizations and advocates may learn more about submission guidelines and submit a proposal online here


Lowe's Charitable and Education Foundation Announces 2014 Toolbox for Education Grant Program 
Deadline: February 14, 2014 
Lowe's Charitable and Education Foundation has announced the opening of its Spring 2014 Toolbox for Education grant cycle. The program supports projects that encourage parental involvement in local schools and build stronger community spirit. Toolbox for Education grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded in support of projects that have a permanent impact on a school community. Grant funds cannot be used to pay for memorials, stipends, salaries, artists in residence, field trips, or scholarships. Only 10 percent of any award can be allocated for outside expenses such as labor, installation, consultation, and delivery. Lowe's will only consider grants for projects that can be completed within a year of receipt of the grant. A Toolbox grant can be used as part of a large-scale project like a playground as long as the grant is used to complete a phase of the project that can be completed within twelve months of the award. To be eligible for a grant, applicants must be a public K-12 school or nonprofit parent group associated with such a school. Parent groups that are applying (PTO, PTA, etc.) must have an independent EIN and official 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Preschools are not eligible. The application process will be closed after 1,500 applications have been received. Complete application and eligibility guidelines, as well as lists of past grant recipients, are available on the Toolbox for Education Web Site.
William T. Grant Foundation Invites Letters of Inquiry for Studies on the Uses of Research in Policy and Practice Affecting Youth 
Deadline: January 8, 2014 (Letters of Inquiry) 
The William T. Grant Foundation seeks to fund high-quality empirical research with the goal of improving the lives of youth between the ages of 8 and 25 in the United States. To help accomplish this goal, the foundation is requesting Letters of Inquiry for its Request for Proposals on Understanding the Acquisition, Interpretation, and Use of Research Evidence in Policy and Practice. Support will be provided for empirical theory-building studies related to what affects policy makers' and practitioners' acquisition, interpretation, and use of research evidence. The foundation is interested in policy and practice directly relevant to youth in the U.S. Areas of focus can include education, juvenile justice, child welfare, health, family support, employment, mental health, and youth programs. The foundation will consider applications for newly initiated studies as well as add-on studies to existing projects. Add-on studies must address research questions not covered by prior funding from the Grant Foundation or other funders, although they may cover secondary analyses of existing data or collection and analyses of new data. The foundation encourages interdisciplinary projects and welcomes applications from researchers in various fields and disciplines, including anthropology, communications, economics, education, family studies, human development, organizational studies, political science, prevention research, psychology, public administration, public policy, public health, social work, and sociology. To be eligible for consideration, applicants must be employed at a nonprofit institution, either in the U.S. or abroad. The foundation will support research projects with awards ranging from $100,000 to $600,000 for direct and indirect costs over two to three years. Visit the Grant Foundation Web site for the complete Request for Proposals and application instructions. Contact: Link to Complete RFP.

CFP for 2014 UK Graduate Appalachian Research Symposium 

Abstract Submission

The University of Kentucky (UK) Graduate Appalachian Research Community (GARC) is pleased to announce the Fifth Annual UK Appalachian Research Community Symposium and Arts Showcase, which will be held on Saturday, March 8, 2014. Presentation/paper abstracts should be submitted online here by midnight February 8, 2014. (Please see the call for papers here for more details. Also, the website is for the 2014 symposium even though the URL address says "2013"...). 


Dimensions of Political Ecology: Conference on Nature/Society

The University of Kentucky

This year, the UK Political Ecology Working Group invites YOU to organize sessions for the upcoming Dimensions of Political Ecology (DOPE) Conference!  The UK Political Ecology Working Group hope that having participants organize sessions will make the conference more reflective of the wide range of cutting edge research currently taking place in political ecology. Online registration opened October 1st and cost $20 for students and $40 for faculty (there is no fee for undergraduate participants). Please click here for more conference highlights and registration instructions, including how to submit a paper abstract that you would like the conference organizing committee to attempt to place in a suitable session if you are unable to find/organize an appropriate organized session. The conference dates are February 27 - March 1, 2014. 


2013 Livability Report Card Gauges Region's Quality of Life


The 2013 Livability Report Card for the PlanET region highlights conditions affecting quality of life for the region's residents by providing statistics and ratings in twenty key areas including transportation, health and the local economy. East Tennessee's youth have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Area roads and bridges need more than $1 billion in repairs and upgrades. New home construction is down 70 percent from pre-recession activity. PlanET research partners recently released the 2013 edition of the Livability Report Card, taking a close look at quality of life issues in the five-county region. While residents enjoy good quality of life, there are stark reminders that there is room for improvement. Read full report here.

Wythe County Farm Bureau one of Three Recognized

Best in State

Farm Bureaus in Hanover, Fluvanna, Prince George and Wythe counties were recognized Dec. 4 by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation for their work in educating the public and promoting agriculture and Farm Bureau. As a result of their outreach activities and cultivation and retention of members, the four organizations received Best in State Awards at the 2013 VFBF Annual Convention in Richmond. Read more.




SustainFloyd is moving forward to promote energy independence in a sustainable fashion. They have undertaken a project to design and build a mobile solar electric generator. This generator will be a valuable tool in educating Floyd County adults and children about the benefits of renewable energy. In addition to the educational component, the generator will be used to power the Floyd Farmers Market, other outdoor events and provide power during power outages. Read more

West Virginia
Who Owns West Virginia
West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy
The study, based on 2011 data, finds that concentrated, absentee ownership still persists in West Virginia.  The top ten largest private landowners are all out-of-state natural resources or railroad corporations.  The top 25 landowners control about 18 percent of private land in the state.  And concentration in the southern coalfields is much higher: 59 percent of private land in Boone is controlled by ten landowners, 54 percent in Mingo, and 76 percent in Wyoming County.  Our study didn't get address mineral ownership concentration, only land ownership. Many of the top ten landowners in the state are related to the coal industry: Norfolk Southern (railroad), Natural Resource Partners, Penn Virginia, Alpha Natural Resources, and Consol.  However, the largest landowner in the state is Heartwood Forestland Fund, a North Carolina-based company that manages forest land for institutional investors (pension funds, etc). The study is available here.
Register Now for Mountain Justice Spring Break 2014
Sunday March 9 - Sunday March 16 in Northern West Virginia

Come to the beautiful mountains of West Virginia for your Spring Break! Learn about the dirty, destructive, dangerous life-cycles of coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy. Stand in solidarity with the communities in Virginia, West Virginia, South West Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee facing the ongoing destruction of coal mining, hydraulic fracturing, and nuclear energy! See mountaintop removal coal mining and natural gas extraction via hydraulic fracturing up close! Take direct action to end the reign of King Coal! To see photos from MJSB 2013 and the direct action at the West Virginia state capitol, go hereMountain Justice Spring Break (MJSB) will bring together residents of extraction communities, college students, environmentalists and concerned citizens who are interested in learning more about mountaintop removal coal mining, fracking, and the dangers of nuclear energy. The week will be spent in West Virginia cultivating the skills and visions needed to build a sustainable energy future in Appalachia. Through education, community service, speakers, hiking, music, poetry, direct action and more, you will learn from and stand with Appalachian communities in the struggle to maintain our land and culture.  Anti-Oppression trainings and discussion will be a significant part of this week, and we will strive to incorporate Anti-Oppression, Dismantling Racism and Patriarchy into all aspects of our week. Mountain Justice Spring Break will also offer a variety of community service projects.  To see the schedule for the week or register click here.

Enewsletters From Central Appalachia

Below are Enewsletters About Social Change Work in Appalachia