Poverty Warriors and “Maximum Feasible Participation of the Poor”
In this special edition of WMMT’s Mountain Talk, Hollis West and Robert Shaffer describe their sometimes controversial, often successful, efforts to develop an anti-poverty program in Knox County, KY in the 1960s and ’70s that put into practice the War on Poverty Program’s call for “maximum feasible participation of the poor.” Their story is followed by a WMMT report from Maxine Kenny on the mining conditions in the 1960s that led eastern Kentucky miners to form the Roving Pickets and the miners’ expectations that they would be full partners in the new War on Poverty’s Office of Economic Opportunity programs.
Beth Bingman: Support POWER+ Plan, Help SW Virginia
Beth Bingman, a long time community educator living in Dungannon, VA, speaks out on why she thinks state and federal legislators should be advocating for President Obama’s proposed POWER+ Plan, which, among other things, would allocate $1 billion to coalfield communities to give people employment in the cleaning up of abandoned coal mine sites. (Her commentary originally appeared in the Roanoke Times; read it here.) The City of Norton and Wise County Supervisors have passed resolutions in support of the POWER+ Plan, as well as a number of local governments in Kentucky.
Appalachia Speaks: Gerry Roll – Investment Needed
Gerry Roll has seen the central Appalachian region hit by a long and slow, but nonetheless devastating, economic storm. She calls for “disaster relief,” investment to recover and rebuild, like other regions have received after a storm. In mid-2015, there are signs that she and others from the region are beginning to be heard by decision makers in state houses and the federal government. Roll is Executive Director of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky and a long time advocate for children and families. “Appalachia Speaks” is a series of short videos from Making Connections News featuring the voices and visions of grassroots leaders.
Appalachian Youth: Coal Helped, It’s Not Our Future
In the final of a two-part series, three young people from eastern Kentucky share their thoughts on what it’s like to be young in Appalachia here in 2015. In this story, we hear their opinions on a range of issues, from the past and present impact of the coal industry to their hopes for the region’s future. This report was produced by Destiny Caldwell, a graduate of Appalshop’s Appalachian Media Institute, summer staff at Making Connections News, and a student at Alice Lloyd College.