Appalachia Rising

“Activism is my rent for living on this planet.”

–Alice Walker

roots

One thing I didn’t consider when moving across the country was that I was going to miss Appalachia Rising, a conference of several thousand people vested in Appalachian interests in Washington, D.C. And no, I’m not talking about a bunch of mountain folk taking a quaint trip to the city.

I’m talking about mountain folk meeting with climate change experts and artists. And the widows of coal miners mingling with tattooed college students (who happen to go to school that gets its energy from a coal-fired power plant). And wealthy filmmakers talking to Appalachians who have lost their homes, or who have cancer but no health insurance.

Quite an eclectic bunch, to say the least. Maybe you saw 100 of them get arrested earlier today? A group of my friends attended all weekend: although they didn’t get arrested, they did join the protest and the direct action.

Check out this slideshow of the 15 most toxic places to live on earth (from MNN). Of those 15, only one is in the United States: Appalachia. But I’m not gonna lie: it’s kind of heartbreaking, being so far away.

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