Success Stories

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Thanks to folks that support our work, 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 day-to-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 30 years and beyond!

Below are just a few highlights of the accomplishments of the work that we have recently supported.

  • Enabled 12 mountain leaders to meet with officials in the EPA, Council on Environmental Quality, and Office of Surface Mining about the effects of mountaintop removal on Appalachian people. The effort culminated in a day of action involving over 100 people.
  • Publicized through a public education campaign how criminalizing truancy in West Virginia has led to a 75 percent increase in juveniles jailed and how this is accelerating the school-to-prison pipeline for all, including “A” students.
  • Brought books to people imprisoned throughout Appalachia, leading to the formation of book clubs and creative writing classes behind bars.
  • Countered the coal industry’s public relations campaigns with radio and social media programming about economic alternatives such as local foods, entrepreneurship, ecotourism, and regional reinvestment.
  • Challenged and postponed a road project which would have destroyed Chattanooga’s historic African-American Lincoln Park neighborhood with its old Negro League ballfields.
  • Connected chemical safety with racial justice at a summit of 62 residents, community activists, local government officials, academics, youth, and scientists, developing strategies to address the disproportionate impact of chemical releases in West Virginia.
  • Educated over 400 Kentuckians about the dangers of fracking and critical considerations for landowners before signing extractive leases.
  • Documented the health effects of mining and burning coal and shared the research with Kentuckians and their regulatory authorities, helping shape the decision to deactivate four coal-burning units at the Dale Power Plant.
  • Examined, with an interracial group of middle school students, the effects of urban renewal, gentrification, structural racism and classism in their own backyards.
  • Advocated for West Virginia’s first-ever regulation of above-ground storage of chemicals in the wake of the January 2014 chemical spill into the Elk River.
  • Began a Farm-to-School Agricultural Program to provide local produce to local schools and began exploring the feasibility of using high tunnel greenhouse growing in abandoned mine tunnels.
  • Trained 13 Chattanoogans, ages 10-15, how to grow vegetables, care for farm animals, devise a business plan, and sell fresh produce to residents in their own community.
  • Weatherized four houses while training four apprentices in the weatherization trade.
  • Trained 25 community health workers in healthcare disparities in rural West Virginia communities, including training for 18 who attended a grant writing workshop to help reduce those disparities.
  • Reached 5,000 undocumented immigrants in Tennessee with information about using administrative relief to avoid deportation.