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Our Mission

The Alliance for Appalachia is a regional coalition of grassroots, non-profit organizations with the goals of ending mountaintop removal, putting a halt to destructive coal technologies, and creating a sustainable, just Appalachia.

Our work is founded on these core beliefs, which guide our vision:

  • Mountain people are experts in their own lives.
  • All people should have a seat at the table in determining the future of their communities.
  • Regional collaboration strengthens political power built locally.
  • Systemic change is necessary to achieve justice in our region.

Our Vision

We believe that our campaign to abolish mountaintop removal mining is an important element of the national effort for progressive, systemic change in our nation’s economic, energy, and environmental policies. By working in coalition to highlight and organize against the dangers and true costs of our dependence on coal, we can help move the nation toward a new ethic of whole and healthy communities and away from our current extraction economy.

Our coalition was founded in 2006 and includes some of the most experienced and accomplished organizations in Appalachia. From the beginning, local organizations and leaders have come together with a shared vision to strengthen the fight against mountaintop removal coal mining and to work towards a healthier future for our region. Individuals from money-poor backgrounds worked to found The Alliance for Appalachia and they remain the majority of our leadership and volunteers today.

What We Value
We value clean water & healthy ecosystems as fundamental human rights.
The Appalachian region is home to some of the oldest and most biologically diverse mountains in the world. We believe in and value the interdependence of ecological and social well-being. We work to protect and preserve a clean and bio-diverse environment by working for stronger regulations and enforcement.
We value leadership from youth and elders.
We seek to foster an intergenerational culture of mutual learning and shared leadership. We value input from people new to the movement and from those full of experience. Through training and work sharing, we support people in developing the skills and perspectives necessary for productive participation so that all voices are heard in reaching strategic and tactical decisions.
In fighting for our communities we fight for all communities.
We believe that by building power in communities and connecting people of all backgrounds and identities from geographically and culturally disparate places that we grow in strength. We commit to creating supportive spaces, and to meeting people where they are in their process of growth and understanding the forces of oppression on marginalized communities.
The Alliance for Appalachia is non-partisan.
We believe that partisan politics polarize communities, emphasizing that which divides us over our common interests. The Alliance for Appalachia seeks to unite the region for the common good.

Our History

Regional coalitions and alliances are hardly new for the region, but rather past collaboration provides a framework for political change that can be modeled on the successes and failures of the Appalachian Alliance, Save the Land and People, the Council of the Southern Mountains, and other similar bodies.

Over the past decade, organizations in Appalachia have picked up where these groups have left off, working together to fight the abuses of mountaintop removal made possible through SMCRA through grassroots organizing and leadership development, state and national policy work, state and federal litigation, extensive use of the media, and technical assistance. In many instances, the joint work has been informal, but because of the extreme political and economic power of the coal industry, groups fighting this battle agreed that no single organization could win alone. Thus, The Alliance for Appalachia was formed.

Our coalition has continued to support training and collaborative opportunities that strengthen relationships regionally and nationally. By way of example, we’ve brought together economic transition experts and leaders to map our regional landscape and discuss strategies for community-based growth. We have also created opportunities for local leaders to participate at the forefront of historic movement events such as Appalachia Rising in Washington DC, the march on Blair Mountain, and the annual Week in Washington, which has brought hundreds of Appalachian residents and allies to DC over the years to lobby Congress and engage with federal policymakers.