We have some important and exciting news to report back from our recent summer Steering Committee Meeting! The Alliance for Appalachia brings together our members from across the region for in-person meetings multiple times a year to strengthen our partnerships and collective experiences. Our meetings focus on strengthening relationships among our members, providing opportunities for leadership development and personal growth, and for discussion around the collective goals for the Alliance.
When Alliance members came together last December, we re-committed to creating and maintaining spaces for people and organizations across the region to collaborate, and to bring a clear and collective voice for intersectional, social justice. In addition, members expressed an interest in restructuring our long-standing teams to re-prioritize and add value to local work.
This past June, Alliance leaders facilitated activities to help us do just that! Members mapped their organizational priorities, capacity, partners, resources, needs, and identified overlapping areas of interest and emerging issues. The results are in! We have new teams to coordinate around regional priorities! A brief description of each is below:
- Corporate Accountability Team – To hold corporate entities accountable for their destructive and harmful mining practices that exploit our communities by building regional pressure and taking collective action.
- Citizen Enforcement Team – To convene a space for member groups to learn from each other’s work around water monitoring, to organize training, share resources, contribute data to the Appalachian Citizen Enforcement Database, and to here strategies between states around citizen enforcement through monitoring the impacts of active and abandoned mine sites.
- New Economy Team – To explore and research real solutions around the building and redistributing wealth, particularly as it relates to land ownership and access.
- Internal Communications Team – To improve coordination between teams and increase transparency of Alliance governance.
Alliance work teams are made up of volunteers and staff of our member and ally organizations who come together to build connections that bolster local organizing work and build a regional strategy. Our members engage on work teams to address the legacy costs of more than a century of coal mining and organize for a healthy environment through regional and federal campaigns. Our teams connect community experience with campaigns to build vision-led strategies that outline a path towards a healthy, prosperous, and just Appalachia.
To learn more and to join the Citizen Monitoring & Enforcement, Corporate Accountability, or the Appalachian Land & New Economy Team, contact us. Everyone is welcome! If you’re ready to sign up now, fill out this form and we’ll add you to the team’s listserv.
Members can access the notes from our summer steering meeting on our Google Drive; contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.