January 2012
Inside Appalachian Community Fund

Happy January everyone!!!

I hope you are all on our mailing list. The hard copy of AppalActions should be arriving soon. Send us a quick note if you are not on our mailing list, we don't want you to miss out.

ACF Vision

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


A Birthday Wish

ACF's development & office assistant turns 34, requests your help

Hi all, thanks for reading our enewsletter and for your support of ACF! This month I celebrate my 34th birthday. While it is great to see another birthday roll around what I'd really like to celebrate this month is the important work being supported by the Appalachian Community Fund. Please visit my birthday wish on facebook and make a donation, it would mean so much: Mary Eva's Facebook Wish

Mary Eva Martin on Norris Lake, TN


Alan Dorsey and Michael Abbott (New York host committee member) at ACF's Bluegrass and Barbeque

P. Catlin Fullwood Interviews Alan Dorsey, New York Donor and Ally

Please click here to read Alan's full interview with Catlin.

PCF: As someone who lives in New York, what do you see as your connection to Appalachia/the South?
AD: Wherever I live, New York or anywhere, it's the same. My connection is always with Appalachia. It's where my roots are, my family is still there and I go back frequently. And though I'm the one who left I don't feel disconnected. When New Yorkers hear my accent and they ask where I'm from I say Tennessee, and they say "Oh the South". But the reality for me is that I feel like an Appalachian and not necessarily a Southerner. It's something about the mountains. If I'm somewhere with no mountains I'm still thinking about them, and am only truly comfortable when embraced by them.

You can visit http://alandorsey.com/ to check our Alan's beautiful custom woodwork.


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!

Did You Know?

The Appalachians have been the seedbed for North America after successive ice ages. They are among the oldest mountains in the world and represent one of the most diverse ecologies found anywhere on Earth
(from Deciduous Forests of Eastern North America by Lucy Braun).

News From the Region
Study Reveals Impacts of Mountaintop Mining on Watersheds
Reclaimed mines still contributing to degradation

A major new study confirms the pervasive and irreversible impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining here in Appalachia. The study is called "Cumulative impacts of mountaintop mining on an Appalachian watershed," and it appears online in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The conclusion by Duke University researcher Ty Lindberg and colleagues, including Emily Bernhardt: "Our results demonstrate the cumulative impact of multiple mines within a single catchment and provide evidence that mines reclaimed nearly two decades ago continue to contribute significantly to water quality degradation within this watershed." Please click here to read the study.

Honest Appalachia

Honest Appalachia Website Launches

Seeks to increase transparency and decrease corruption

Honest Appalachia is a secure website that will allow whistle blowers to anonymously leak corporate and government secrets to the public. Using our security protocol, whistle blowers will be able to upload secret documents to the site without fear of reprisal. Created by freelance journalists, transparency activists and computer programmers from Appalachia and beyond, the website hopes to serve a vital need in Appalachia by inspiring whistle blowers to make critical information available to an informed citizenry. In addition, Honest Appalachia hopes to serve as a model that can be replicated elsewhere in the U.S. and the world. Click here to read more: www.honestappalachia.org


Do you Know a Young Activist?

Nominate your favorite young activist by March 1, 2012

Five winners will receive a minimum of $10,000 in community grants and scholarships. One winner will be selected as the grand-prize winner and will receive a total of $100,000 in community grants paid directly to the nonprofit of his or her choice. All winners have the option of receiving $5,000 of the total money awarded in the form of an educational scholarship. Click here for more information.


Nominate an Activist from Your Town Today!

Nominations due February 20, 2012

Today an Indian grandmother is standing up to corporate greed and government harassment to assert the sovereign rights of the Western Shoshone. A 30 year-old Latina is giving low-wage immigrants the tools they need to fight for decent affordable housing. A brave woman is working with her sisters to haul their Georgia town out of its racist past and into the 21st century. And a former corrections officer is welcoming parolees back to their old neighborhood to rebuild their lives and their community. They are among thousands of extraordinary men and women are working to fix what's broken in America. Since 1988, through a nationwide search and nomination process, the Petra Foundation has identified these and other unsung heroes who deserve recognition for their distinctive contributions to the rights, autonomy and dignity of others. If you know a grassroots leader please submit their nomination for a Petra award. If you know of others who might make a nomination, please spread the word. Click here to read more about past winners or to read the criteria for nomination.

2.14.12 Version II

I Love Mountains Day Set for February 14th in Frankfurt, Kentucky
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth seeks to stop mountaintop removal
The movement to end mountaintop removal is large and each of us has a place in it. Some of us risk arrest, others share knowledge with children and church groups, still others attend rallies, write letters, make phone calls and more. It takes all of these pieces to make our movement whole. All of us are responsible for helping to save our land and protect our communities. Please join us on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 for I Love Mountains day to continue calling for an end to mountaintop removal and to ask our leaders to share a vision for the solutions that Kentucky so desperately needs. Help us call on Governor Beshear, our state legislative leaders, and even our leaders in Washington D.C. to serve the public interest by ending mountaintop removal and looking towards a clean energy future that can provide good, safe jobs and healthy communities. Please click here for more information.


Kentuckians for the Commonwealth Concert Raises $ and Awareness
Music and spoken word explore clean energy for KY
On December 29, 2011 a sold-out crowd of 1400 came to the Brown theatre in Louisville, KY to show their support for KFTC and the end of mountaintop removal. Folks enjoyed Yim Yames of My Morning Jacket, Ben Sollee, Daniel Martin Moore, Dan Dorff, Joan Shelley and writers Silas house and Jason Howard. The successful event raised money and awareness for KFTC and provided a space where art and activism could intersect. Please click here for more of Beth Newberry's Hillville write-up: http://thehillville.com/2012/01/06/rockers-and-authors-showcase-common-cause-in-kentucky/

Community Development Grants Available
Deadline to apply is February 10, 2012
In these tough economic times, many communities in Southern and Eastern Kentucky often have a vision for the future but lack the funds necessary to make that vision a reality. During its next Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) funding cycle, The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Ky. will be awarding federally funded mini-grants to help advance strategic planning efforts throughout the region. Grant applications from city and county governments and eligible nonprofit organizations in 34 Southern and Eastern Kentucky communities will be accepted through Feb. 10. Grants, which range from $5,000 to a maximum of $10,000, are scheduled to be awarded in March. The ARC mini-grants, awarded through The Center's Developing and Implementing Community Strategies Program, may be used for either the successful creation of a strategic plan or the implementation of priority community development projects identified in existing strategic plans. For more information on applying for ARC funding support through The Center, contact Patti Simpson at 606-677-6000 or email arc@centertech.com.

Click here to see the RFP or here to read the guidelines for applying.


Berea College Awarded Promise Neighborhood Grant
Grant to support crade-to-career services

President Obama announced in December that Berea College in Kentucky is one of five Promise Neighborhood implementation grant recipients. This cradle-to-career initiative will fund work in Clay, Jackson and Owsley Counties in Kentucky. More than 200 organizations from 45 states, as well as American Samoa and Puerto Rico, applied for 2011 Promise Neighborhoods planning and implementation grants. Berea College will be awarded a first-year grant of $6 million, totaling up to $30 million across the five-year life of the grant, which will support implementation of cradle-to-career services to improve the educational achievement and healthy development of children. "Promise Neighborhoods recognizes that children need to be surrounded by systems of support inside and outside of the classroom to help them be successful in school and beyond," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The Promise Neighborhoods program aims to address significant challenges faced by students and families living in high-poverty communities by providing resources to plan and implement a continuum of services from early learning to college and career. Plans include a range of services from improving a neighborhood's health, safety, and stability to expanding access to learning technology and Internet connectivity, and boosting family engagement in student learning. Please click here to read more.


New Legal Resource for Tennesseans
Improving Access to Justice for Tennesseans
Tennessee Alliance Legal Services is a statewide non-profit organization that seeks to build partnerships to support the delivery of effective civil legal services for low-income and elderly Tennesseans. TALS is committed to increasing equal access to justice across Tennessee. TALS is an alliance of the federally-funded legal aid programs, independent providers of civil legal services, and supporting agencies in Tennessee. Visit http://www.tals.org/ for more information.
Scenic Vistas Protection Act Needs Your Support!
Help Tennessee be the fist state to ban mountaintop removal
Tennessee legislators need to hear from you that we do not support mountaintop removal and we need legislative protection for our mountains. There are many ways to show your support, including:
  • Sign a petition
  • Contact your state representative
    • Visit www.ilovemountains.org for a sample script (for telephoning) or to find out who your representatives are in Nashville
  • Write a letter to the editor

Tennesseans Again Face Toxic Spill Into Waterways

Premium Coal responsible for spill
Reports indicate that a coal preparation plant above Rosehill, Tennessee (near Frozen Head State park) was spilling black water from a pond discharge into the New River. The New River, an American Heritage River, flows into the Big South Fork. The flow was so strong it is said to have flowed up stream, and it has been reported that black/gray water was observed about 40 miles downstream from the plant. Companies are required to report such spills to both the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) and the Tennssee Department of Environmental Conservation (TDEC). In this case they didn't, it came from a citizen report. Please visit any of these links to learn more:

Virginia Organizing Hosts "We Are Virginia"

Week of action engages citizenry and legislators

As the cold rain poured down in Richmond on January 11, nearly 80 people gathered in front of the Virginia General Assembly. While legislators made their way into the building for their first session of the year, they were greeted with dozens of unemployed workers, parents, teachers, union members, environmental activists, immigrants, faith leaders, health care advocates and college students.

Please click here to read the full article by Julie Blust, Communications Director for Virginia Organizing.

Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards Seeks Interns

Help protect the mountains of southwest West Virginia
The Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards are launching a new campaign to hire a team of solidarity interns. These interns will help local SAMS members leverage their own capacity for organizing by alleviating some of the everyday tasks that can be done from afar. Solidarity interns will function as volunteers just like local SAMS members. However, interns inclined to seek funding are fully encouraged to do so. Interns would work on social media, graphic design, newsletter editing, and web presence. If you'd like to apply for one of these positions, please send an email to samsva@samsva.org inquiring for an application. Thanks again for showing interest in helping our cause!

West Virginia
Upcoming Events for Ohio Valley Environmental Action Team
Get connected in West Virginia
  • On January 26, Marshall University SEAC and OVEC will co host a showing of The Last Mountain. For time and location information, check OVEC's online calendar, or e-mail vivian@ohvec.org.
  • February 6: Under These Hills. A one-man performance of the life and work of a coal miner presented by Fred Powers. Fred Powers worked over 20 years as a coal miner in MacDowell County. This dramatic presentation tells of the work of an underground coal miner. There will be a short intermission and then Fred will do a shorter program about coal miners in the Civil War. Part of the 2012 Coal Heritage Public Lecture Series. For more information about any of these lectures (including time) or the class, please contact Karen atkaren@wventerprises.com or kvuranch@concord.edu
  • February 8, 2012: WVEC's Annual E-Day! At the Capitol. From 10 AM - 3 PM. Located in the Upper rotunda area, the House of Delegates hallway and the Senate hallway. Features Citizen Lobby Day, Environmental and Sustainable Business displays, and much more (this is also in conjunction with several other progressive organizations scheduled in the lower rotunda this year). For more information and to make reservations to participate: deniseap@earthlink.net.
  • February 8, 2012: E-Day Benefit Dinner and Award Ceremony. 6PM - 9PM. Join us for our annual E-Day benefit after a full day at the capitol! Enjoy dinner, music and honor our 2012 Award recipients. Cost: $15 per person. Exact location to be announced.
Sludge Safety Project
40 Years of Black Water: From Buffalo Creek to Today

Save the date! From 2 - 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 25, Sludge Safety Project is hosting a memorial for the victims of sludge/blackwater. Forty years ago this February, 125 people died in the blackwater flood of Buffalo Creek. Since then, scores of families, in communities such as Prenter and Rawl, have lost loved ones to cancer and other ailments they blame on sludge-contaminated water. On February 25, we will memorialize those lost to blackwater. Whether you know someone who has died or simply think that all people have a right to safe, clean water, we invite you to join us at this event. Email info@sludgesafety.org or call 304-574-1684 to get more information.

Great Resources for Organizers and Activists
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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