March 2013
Inside Appalachian Community Fund!
Appalachian Region


Tell us what your dream is for the region in the next 25 years? Click here.

The BirdhouseIt's CRAFTING FOR CHANGE Time at ACF!

12pm-2pm on Friday, March 22nd


Join us at the Birdhouse, 800 North 4th Ave, Knoxville, TN, with your gardening gloves and gardening tools. We are going to play in the dirt and plant some seeds! Bring a brown bag lunch.


Many who know me realize I believe that creativity and the allowance of creative expression is a life essential. I love crafting and it's even more rewarding when shared with others.

Once a month this year, the staff of ACF and as many folks who want to join us at our Knoxville office, will be CRAFTING FOR CHANGE.

You do not have to be an expert. You don't have to have supplies. You simply need to want to sit and craft with other social justice folks who desire to take a couple of hours of a creative break that will make a little change.

I hope to see you. Peace, love and light! Margo

ACF Accepting Board Nominations Through March 31, 2012

Are You a Mover and Shaker? Want to Support Grassroots Organizing in Central Appalachia?

ACF Wants You! ACF is recruiting new board members before the beginning of our next fiscal year in July 2013. We are looking for people who are committed to social justice in the region and who would be willing and able to make at least a two year commitment. Our board of directors is made up of community leaders and residents of the four-state area in which we fund. Click here to read more.

Click here to fill out the nomination form. Instructions regarding how to submit your form can be found in the form. If you have questions about serving on the board, please feel free to contact Margo Miller at 865-523-5783 or margo@appalachiancommunityfund.org. The board will review and vote on submitted nominations at our spring board meeting, so please submit your completed nominations forms by March 31, 2013.

News From the Region
Message to Members: I Love Mountains Day 2013
Message to Members

I Love Mountains Day 2013!

Over 1,000 people turn out

More than a thousand people met at the Kentucky River and marched up Capital Avenue to call for New Power - new energy, economic and political power - and an end to mountaintop removal and other destructive mining practices that threaten our mountains, water, air and health.

3rd Annual Collaborative Conference on Rural Mental Health Set: March 21-22

First of Two Back-to-Back Conferences Planned for March

The Appalachian State University Department of Psychology will host the 3rd annual Collaborative Conference on Rural Mental Health at Appalachian State University March 21-22. The purpose of the conference is to bring together professionals from rural-focused training graduate training programs, predoctoral internship programs, and practitioners in a diverse array of community settings to discuss strategies for preparing mental health service providers for work in rural areas. This conference directly precedes the 36th annual Appalachian Studies Association (ASA) Conference and participants of the ASA conference are encouraged to attend both events. The Collaborative Conference on Rural Mental Health will conclude Friday morning and the ASA Conference will begin Friday afternoon. For more information call (828) 262-7939.

ASALogo36th Appalachian Studies Association Conference

Second of Two Back-to-Back Conferences Planned for March

We're very excited about the 36th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference! This year's theme is "Communities in Action, Landscapes in Change" and the event will take place March 22-24, 2013, at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. The Keynote Speaker will be William R. Ferris. Based on his experience as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) from 1997-2001, Professor Ferris will reflect on how the NEH has supported Appalachian studies and regional studies in general. He will also discuss the relationship of Appalachia to the American South and the importance of its literature and music. Click here for the preliminary program.

Registration Opens for 8th Annual End Mountaintop Removal Week

Mark Your Calendars for May 4th-8th!

Registration is now open for our 8th annual End Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington, which will take place this May 4th-8th! Click here to apply today! This year will be a critical time to make our voices heard in Washington, D.C. Yesterday, President Obama made clear in his inaugural address that we need to ensure the children of Appalachia are "safe from harm." We know that cannot happen until we put an end to mountaintop removal. Scholarships are limited. If you are seeking a full or partial scholarship, the deadline is March 12th. If you do not need scholarship support, the deadline to register is March 19th. Can't make it? Your support can make it possible for others to attend! Donate here to support the 8th Annual End Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington. Last year's Week in Washington was a tremendous success. More than 150 people from over 20 states came to Washington, holding more than 200 meetings with congressional offices and agency officials - all culminating in Appalachia Rising's Day of Action. Join us this year, as we ramp up pressure on the Obama administration to end mountaintop removal once and for all. There are no more excuses; we will be increasing pressure on federal agencies, garnering new bipartisan support for the Clean Water Protection Act, and having conversations with lawmakers about the need for economic transition in the region.

Announcing the 2013 Young Native Writers Essay Contest
Young Native Writers
Submissions Accepted Through April 1, 2013

The Young Native Writers Essay Contest is a writing contest for Native American high school students and is designed to encourage young Native Americans to write about the progress their tribal communities have made and how their tribal communities can keep moving forward. The voices that emerge from this program honor the legacy of every Native American who has ever lived. Add your words to the thousands submitted through this project - all writers receive a Certificate of Honor for their submission. To access submission guidelines, and browse content please click here.

Coal Country Bank First to Report Carbon Footprint to Shareholders
First Major Bank to Join
Shareholders at a host of corporations nationwide-including Exxon Mobil, fracking giant Nabors, and, incongruously, Dunkin' Donuts-have climate-related resolutions on the table this year that aim to require companies to account to shareholders on everything from mountaintop removal to greenhouse gas emissions to renewable energy use. This week, an unexpected institution became the first major bank to join their ranks and have its climate impact interrogated by shareholders. PNC is the only major bank based in Appalachia, a region where coal and gas extraction is a major business. It has long lent to mining companies, including those engaged in mountaintop removal, which involves blowing up peaks to reach coal seams below and has been blamed for degrading landscapes, destroying habitat and polluting streams. Click here to read more.

Rural communities, especially in Central Appalachia, recruit prisons hoping to land jobs?

Speak Your Piece: Prison Progress?

Kentucky PrisonsRural communities, especially in Central Appalachia, recruit prisons hoping to land jobs. But some Eastern Kentucky leaders who got prisons now question their decision, saying the jobs haven't materialized and the prison drains local resources. It's been 21 years since the federal prison opened in Clay County, a decade since the prison opened in Martin County, and nine since opening day at the McCreary prison - and none of the promises of Dorworth, the federal prison official, have been fulfilled. Clay, McCreary and Martin remain three of the poorest counties in one of the nation's poorest Congressional districts.

Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance

President Obama has asked for $340 million (up from $161 million last year) to "accelerate construction" of the Uranium Processing Facility at Y12 in Oak Ridge, TN. It's part of the President's FY 2013 budget which he sent to Congress in February. His budget request increases nuclear weapons spending by 11%, to $7.6 billion. Estimates of the total cost of the UPF started at $600 million - $1.5 billion back in 2005. By last year the total pricetag was estimated at $7.5 billion by the Department of Energy and $8 billion by the Army Corps of Engineers. That's a 1000% increase! Despite a law that requires the Department of Energy to provide Congress with out-year cost projections on major projects, this year's budget did not include those numbers- it just said future costs were "TBD." What could you do with $7.6 billion? Well, if you were into education, you could build 362 brand new schools with a pricetag of $21 million each. Or how about 126,667 more teachers at an annual payroll cost of $60,000/teacher. That's 1,333 more teachers in every county in Tennessee! The new bomb plant could pay for lunches for every child currently on reduced/free lunch programs for 130 years! A typical Habitat for Humanity home costs around $70,000 to build-we could build more than 100,000 of them with the bomb plant money.

Prison Phone Justice

Campaign for Prison Phone Justice

Communication is a Human Right

We just got a call from a disabled mom in Indiana telling us that on her fixed income she can only afford a few phone calls a year with her incarcerated sons. She told us she feels like she is failing as a mom. It doesn't have to be this way. Because of your willingness to take action we are now one step closer to moving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to address the high cost of interstate prison phone calls. We have until March 25th to organize folks across the country to send in their comments. During this critical time we need your support. Please consider making a donation that will allow us to keep the pressure on the FCC over the next 26 days.

Coal's Unpaid Health Bill

How is coal pollution making us sick?
Coal's Unpaid Health Bill

A new report launched on 7 March 2013 by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) aims to provide an overview of the scientific evidence of how air pollution impacts health and how emissions from coal power plants are implicated in this. It presents the first-ever economic assessment of the health costs associated with air pollution from coal power plants in Europe as well as testimonies from leading health advocates, medical experts and policy makers on why they are concerned about coal. The report develops recommendations for policy-makers and the health community on how to address the unpaid health bill and ensure that it is taken into account in future energy decisions. Click here for full report.

Job Opportunities in Central Appalachia

Tennessee Health Care Campaign

Accepting applications until March 22nd
THCC is looking for an Executive Director to carry their work forward as they continue to implement meaningful health reform in Tennessee. Applicants must be able to take initiative, work independently, and get along with diverse groups of people. Applicants must have effective public speaking and communication skills. Applicants must be able to work from the THCC office in Nashville. Estimated 15% of the Executive Director's time will involve travel. Applicants must be able to travel, have a reliable automobile and valid drivers' license and auto insurance. Click here to view (and share), a job description & expectations for this new position. We're accepting applications until March 22nd. Please note that resumes should NOT be sent to my email address, but rather to this address: search@thcc2.org. Please share with your network and help them find the right candidate!

The Clinch Coalition

Do you love High Knob?

The Clinch Coalition is seeking an experienced leader with a demonstrated commitment to protecting public lands to serve as its next Director. The Director will work with our Board and Membership to grow our organizational capacity and coordinate our conservation, education, and stewardship programs. This might be the job for you, see details here.

Healthy Native Communities Partnership Seeks Executive Director
Want to work in New Mexico?
Passionate about positive change in Native American communities? Healthy Native Communities Partnership seeks its next leader to grow the organization and a national network of alumni and communities focused on wellness. As a 501c(3) nonprofit, HNCP programs include Just Move It, a campaign promoting physical activity; and Healthy Native Communities Fellowship, a culturally relevant program helping 300+ community coaches be better change-makers. The successful Executive Director will be a Native leader with strong communication skills, entrepreneurial instincts and demonstrated fundraising success. The ideal candidate will live in/near Shiprock, New Mexico. Applicants to be evaluated immediately. Please email David Cournoyer at davidc@hncpartners.org for more information.

Fairness West Virginia Seeks Public Policy Interns

Applications for Summer 2013 Due April 1, 2013

Interns work in the Department of Public Policy and Government Affairs, which works to secure strategic public policy wins at the local, state and federal levels and to assist with implementation in order to ensure West Virginia's continued leadership in promoting and advancing equality and justice for all members of the LGBT community. Public Policy interns assist with all aspects of the policy program, including: Drafting and reviewing legislation, advisory memoranda, advocacy letters, talking points, testimony and other materials supporting federal, state, and local civil rights legislation and policies; Monitoring and analyzing legislation, regulations, and policies at the federal and state levels; Analyzing federal and state court decisions for their impact on LGBT families; Producing policy-related publications, training curricula, and other educational materials; Collaborating with other social justice organizations to promote equality for the LGBT community; Scheduling and occasionally attending meetings with legislators, administration officials or other coalition partners. Click here for more information.

Funding Opportunities

USDA Announces Request for Applications for Farm-to-School Grants

Proposals Due Midnight EST, April 24, 2013

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking applications for the latest round of USDA's Farm-to-School grants. These grants help eligible schools improve the health and wellbeing of students and connect with local agricultural producers. "USDA's Farm-to-School grants connect schools with their local farmers, ranchers and food businesses, providing new economic opportunities to food producers and bringing healthy, local offerings into school cafeterias," said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. "USDA continues to make improvements to the nutrition of food offered in schools, and investing in farm-to-school programs is yet another important opportunity to encourage our nation's kids to make lifelong healthy eating choices." Three different kinds of grants will be available. Planning grants are intended for schools just getting started on farm-to-school activities, while implementation grants are available for schools seeking to augment or expand existing efforts. To assist eligible entities in preparing proposals, USDA will host a series of webinars related to the application process. Click here for more information.


The Link Between Poverty and Health

Link Between Poverty and Health

Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) Results

As the number of Kentuckians living in poverty goes up, the percentage of adults who describe their health as excellent or very good goes down. In its latest report, the Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) reveals that trend continues. Since KHIP began tracking health opinions in 2008, people with higher incomes have consistently reported better health status. While the health status for each income category has remained fairly consistent, the number of people in each category has not. Since research has shown a strong link between higher income and better health, the rise in poverty threatens the overall health of Kentucky's population. To view full report click here.

Plant Trees, Meet New People, and Learn About Reforestation

Food and Lodging Provided for Participants

On Saturday April 6, concerned citizens will be planting thousands of tree seedlings with Green Forests Work on a large former strip mine site in Pike County Kentucky near Fish Trap Lake. This is a good opportunity to learn how reforestation of surface mines could create hundreds of jobs in Appalachia while bringing back the native hardwood forest species. This compacted mine site has been ripped using specialized equipment to make it ready for planting. Currently there are few trees on the old mine site. We will leave the parking lot of the Holiday Inn in Pikeville between 8:30-9am on Saturday morning, April 6th, and will return about 3 P.M. the same day. A school bus will take most of us to the site. We have free lodging at the First Christian Church in Pikeville for Friday night, April 5th, Friday night supper and Saturday morning breakfast will be provided at the church, and we will provide sack lunches and water at the planting site. If you are not too enthusiastic about sleeping in your sleeping bag on the floor at the church, there are motels in the area. You will miss delightful camaraderie, however. Of course, you can join us for meals. Please email Mary Miller or call her at 859-858-9983 if you are interested. The first part of March she will send out a detailed email with directions and confirm all plans.

Water-Quality Rules Scrutinized

Cabinet tried to avoid public review

Most recently, the Beshear administration, cabinet for energy and environment, tried to slip through, with minimum public scrutiny, a weakening of water-quality standards for selenium. Selenium is a trace mineral that's good for health in small amounts, but toxic in large concentrations. Surface mines discharge selenium, which builds up in fish and causes deformities and reproductive failure, a disturbance that ripples through the food chain. When state agencies change the rules, state law guarantees due process. After a legislative committee heard convincing complaints about both the proposal's substance and the process that produced it, the cabinet had no choice but to allow additional time for public review and comment. The cabinet, which is in the process of reviewing selenium and other water-quality standards as required by federal law every three years, says the new standard would replace one that's "not scientifically sound or defensible." Instead of testing water samples, the Division of Water would examine the tissue, eggs and ovaries of fish for selenium pollution. Critics of the new standard, including some who live near streams polluted by surface mining, say there won't be any fish to test in streams with high selenium concentrations. Read more

Kentucky Green Living Fair

Come on Out Rain or Shine

March 30th at The Barn at Redgate in Somerset. 10 am to 4 pm. $5 admission, 12 and under free. Workshops, demos, live music, local food, and over seventy exhibitors from around the state of Kentucky. Topics include organic gardening, composting, DIY solar, mushroom cultivation, beekeeping, fermented foods, and more. Click here for flyer and workshop schedule.


United Mountain Defense Fund's New River Field Report

Documenting the Impact of Surface Mining

New River Field Report Feb 24 2013
UMD has created a new page to house their field data- including water quality spreadsheets, testing and analysis results, photos, recordings and more. Check it out.
Tell the University of Tennessee and the State Building Commission: Don't Frack the Cumberland Plateau
To: Governor Bill Haslam & State Building Commission's Executive Sub-Committee

The University of Tennessee is proposing to lease a portion of over 8500 acres of land held in public trust to private companies for fracking of oil and gas for up to 20 years or as long as paying quantities of oil or gas are being produced. The area under consideration is known as the Cumberland Forest and is located in Morgan and Scott Counties at the headwaters of major watersheds that presently supply public water utilities as well as clean water for homes, livestock, and other agricultural purposes. Groundwater contamination is a major concern for people living in rural areas near hydraulic fracturing operations. Natural gas has been called a clean burning fuel. However, when considering its full life-cycle, from drilling to waste disposal to consumption, it is not so clean after all. Please see the article by David Whiteside, Tennessee Riverkeeper in EcoWatch click here.

PlanET Wants You to Get Involved

Help Design Your Community

PlanET will move into its third series of public input activities in January, and we want to know "How do YOU want our region to grow?" By the year 2030, our five county area is projected to grow by 298,000 residents and more than 240,000 jobs. Where do you think we will all live, work and play? What are your priorities in determining where new transportation and housing options should be located? How can we preserve what you love about the region and grow in ways that make our communities stronger and more competitive?From late January through mid-March, we will provide a variety of methods for you to share your input including online tools and small group discussions. Sign up for our popular Meeting in a Box tool that lets us bring the meeting to your civic organization, church or community group. With formats lasting 30, 60, or 90 minutes, we can tailor the length of the meeting to fit within your organization's regular meeting time. Please contact Sherith Colverson, PlanET Outreach Coordinator, at sherith.colverson@planeasttn.org or at (865) 661-3216 to learn more about the activity and schedule your meeting day and time. You can also visit their website at www.planeasttn.org.

Hands off Appalachia and Mountain Justice

Recent Demonstration by Appalachian Residents Confront Mountian Top Removal Financier

UBS - Appalachian Residents Confront MTR Financier
Countdown to Coverage: THCC's 2012 Conference

Tennessee Health Care Campaign

Register Today

THCC's Annual Conference is the largest gathering of health care advocates in the state. The Supreme Court has ruled that the Affordable Care Act is indeed constitutional so we are now full-steam ahead with implementation! On Saturday, August 18th they will gather to learn how the state will move forward in ensuring that hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans will gain affordable, high-quality health care coverage under the law. At this year's Annual Conference, you will learn where Tennessee is in the planning process for Tennessee's Health Insurance Exchange, the new online marketplace in which individuals and small businesses will shop for competitively-priced private insurance plans and purchase coverage with sliding scale tax credits. Low income families and adults will also be able to apply for and enroll in TennCare through the Exchange. Click here to read more.

Laying the Course for a Violence-Free Tennessee

Conference to Address Domestic and Sexual Violence

The Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence is a private nonprofit organization composed of diverse community leaders and program members who share a common vision of ending violence in the lives of Tennesseans. They will be hosting their 11th annual conference in Nashville, TN from March 19-21. The event will be held at the Nashville Convention Center. Registration begins Tuesday March 19, 2013 at 8:00AM CST and the conference will begin promptly at 9:00AM CST. On Wednesday March 20, 2013 the conference will convene from 10:30AM CST to 4:30PM CST. On Thursday March 21, 2013 the conference will convene from 9:00AM CST to noon. Lunch will be daily on your own. Sessions include:

  • Serving LGTBQ Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Trauma Informed Care & Vicarious Trauma
  • Serving Male Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Serving Survivors with Substance Abuse Issues
  • Non-Profit Financial Management
  • Working with Children who have Witnessed Domestic Violence
  • Best Practices for First Responders to Sexual Assault
  • Serving Survivors with Mental Health Diagnoses
  • Grant Writing
What's Your Carbon Footprint
2013 EARTH Awareness Contest
All entries must be received by April 9th 2013

Each year The Clinch Clinch Coalition hosts an Environmental Art and Essay Contest for local K-12 Students. This year they are pleased to announce their Theme "What's Your Carbon Footprint?" Students should use their art work or essay to tell how climate change affects them, their families, and their community and what they'll do to reduce their footprint. For rules, guidelines, and additional resource please see the Contest Page.

West Virginia

Campaign Teaser
Campaign Teaser

Sustainable Williamson

A Gateway to Sustainability in the Heart of the Billion Dollar Coalfield

On March 1st, 2013, Sustainable Williamson is launching their campaign in an effort to raise support for making the coalfields of central Appalachia sustainable and economically diverse! They hope to start a movement to make Williamson an example to other communities in central Appalachia and across the nation, changing how people approach economic diversification and sustainable development. Their aim is to create a replicable model from our existing projects that positions Williamson as a hub for sustainability throughout the central Appalachian region. Click here for more information.

The Campaign to end Child Poverty
The Campaign to End Child Poverty in WV
Our Children, Our Future

DAWG has joined with over 100 organizations, faith based groups, families, and individuals all over the state in the Our Children Our Future Campaign to End Child Poverty. The goals of the Campaign are to organize and mobilize organizations, groups, families, and policymakers to bring attention to the issue of child poverty and to champion policies that will help raise our children out of poverty. To find out more, visit WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition. If you or your group wants to become a partner or for more information contact WV Healthy Kids & Families director Stephen Smith, ssmith@wvhealthykids.org, 304.610.6512.

See Who's Working for Change in Central Appalachia

Want to Learn More About Social Change Work in Appalachia?

Ways to Give


Consider your tax benefits when making a gift to ACF. All gifts are tax deductible according to Internal Revenue Service guidelines for charitable gifts.

Become an ACF sustaining donor by making an automatic monthly donation that fits your budget via our secure website or through your bank. A gift of $20 a month equals a cup of gourmet coffee a week.


If your employer has a matching gift program, your gift to ACF can be doubled or even tripled in size. Your human resources/personnel office can provide you with a matching gift form. Simply complete the form and enclose it with your contribution. ACF will do the rest!

Have you considered establishing your legacy with ACF? There are many ways to establish a legacy gift at ACF that will provide benefits to you during your lifetime and impact the lives of future generations. For more information on how to join the Appalachian WILL Power Legacy Circle, visit our website. You may also contact Margo Miller at 865-523-5786 or via email at margo@appalachiancommunityfund.org.

Donate Now

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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