Victories of the Good Fight

Good ideas, creative solutions, and courageous initiatives need risk-taking, early investment and patient support. Since 1987, the Appalachian Community Fund has been seeding social change efforts and been a partner for the long-haul by supporting community-based organizations addressing the region's most difficult challenges - from the grassroots up!

As a member of the Appalachian Community Fund family, you can be proud that your funding has supported many grassroots victories including organizations that have:

Mentored and supported 56 teenagers who overcame great odds to attend the college of their choice; these teens grew up in the 6th poorest area in America where 49% of all adults in the county dropped out of high school

Big Creek People In Action, War, West Virginia
Won revisions in the Federal Black Lung Program to provide earned benefits to disabled miners, 81% of whom live under the poverty level Virginia Black Lung Association, Richlands, Virginia
Succeeded in getting 50% of the over $3 billion tobacco Master Settlement Agreement from the state for local and non-industrial agriculture and economic development, and created stable alternatives to tobacco income.

Community Farm Alliance, Frankfort, Kentucky
Opened the region's first shared-use "Kitchen Incubator" for farmers and rural producers to create and market gourmet and specialty home grown foods.

Jubilee Project, Sneedville, Tennessee
Organized citizens to keep the doors open at the only public clinic serving low-income and uninsured people within 55 miles of this rural, coalfield community

New Empowerment for Women, Logan, West Virginia
Brought together over 450 women over the last 15 years from geographically and emotionally isolated areas for their first experience of leaving their communities and participating in a large gathering devoted to sharing skills, telling and writing "herstories," and celebrating and renewing themselves

In Praise of Mountain Women, Dungannon, Virginia
Launched a citizens' petition that stopped the construction of 30 miles of ATV trails in an area identified by Greenpeace and the National Forest Alliance as one of the 10 Most Endangered National Forests; and demand and got an in depth US Forest Service study of a proposed 400-acre timber cut above homes in Dungannon, VA

The Clinch Coalition, Coeburn, Virginia
Succeeded in holding the city and the police accountable through creation of a Citizens Review Board to address police brutality and other issues of civil rights

Citizens for Police Review, Knoxville, Tennessee
Defeated a dioxin-producing pulp mill which would have devoured 10,000 trees a day; won the revocation of 17 permits for new valley fills in West Virginia Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Huntington, West Virginia

Thanks to donors like you, ACF's grant funding has changed communities, people, institutions, policies, and systems. We are proud to have helped support these organizations and their accomplishments along with the dayto-day dedication and work that is not as measurable and dramatic. Please join in celebrating these victories and the many other successes, both big and small, that each of our grantees has had over the last 20 years and beyond!

What our Grantees are Saying

Below are examples of what our grantees are saying about the importance of ACF's funding to their organizations:

J.R. Clifford Project, West Virginia
"The J.R. Clifford Project is about West Virginia's first African-American lawyer. Our community reenactments tell how Clifford and a courageous black schoolteacher, Carrie Williams, fought the system and won a major civil rights victory in West Virginia's Supreme Court. At the start of our project the Appalachian Community Fund provided key funding so we could involve hundreds of West Virginia schoolchildren and their families in programs to confront our legacy of racism and show how people have struggled to overcome discrimination. Funding for anti-racism and civil rights work is not widespread and ACF is a beacon in this area, for which our program is deeply grateful!"

Virginia Black Lung Association, Southwest Virginia
"The Virginia Black Lung Association (VBLA) is celebrating 19 years as a grassroots organization working to effect social change by changing unjust federal laws and regulations that impoverish disabled coal miners — our success and fortitude is largely due to the financial and moral support we have received from funding organizations like the Appalachian Community Fund. Our appreciation for the consistent funding from ACF is immeasurable and, could only be surpassed by our esteem and thankfulness to individuals and foundations that have given money to ACF."

Williamsburg Action Team, Eastern Kentucky
"The Williamsburg Action Team (WAT) was founded in 2004 to represent the interests of residents of Williamsburg & Whitley County, Kentucky in downtown revitalization and economic development efforts. WAT is an all-volunteer group and, without the support of ACF, which helped us leverage another $60,000, our small group would not be in existence. We are striving to get the city and county governments to listen to what people want and use a truly democratic decision-making process. WAT leveraged ACF's grant funds and received a grant for $60,000 for our Center. We are so thankful for the support and encouragement we've gotten from ACF to help keep our work for justice alive!"

Save Our Cumberland Mountains, East Tennessee
"For 35 years the members of Save Our Cumberland Mountains people in rural communities and small towns across Tennessee - have worked for justice. For the last 20 years ACF has been right there with SOCM in the heart of each struggle with their financial support. The first grants SOCM received from ACF were awarded in 1988 for work on toxic issues. ACF funding helped turn our work into victories we won then, and ACF's funding continues to support our work today. We are deeply grateful for ACF grant support to help residents of Tennessee speak out to protect and affect change in their communities."