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 25 years and beyond!

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Weatherized four houses while training four apprentices in the weatherization trade.
  • Brought books to people imprisoned throughout Appalachia, leading to the formation of book clubs and creative writing classes behind bars.
  • Reached 5,000 undocumented immigrants in Tennessee with information about using the Obama Administration’s administrative relief to avoid deportation.
  • Stopped the Nationwide 21 permitting process, a streamlined process making it easier for companies to get large-scale mountaintop removal permits — making the process illegal nationwide.
  • Premiered the performance of SPEED Killed My Cousin that worked with former military servicemen and women by conducting research with and gathering stories from them.  Veterans from the Vietnam war, Eastern European conflicts and Iraq and Afghanistan wars participated in workshops and one-on-one conversations with the ensemble, providing a clearer understanding of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Military Sexual Trauma and other war related conditions and ailments.
  • Met with more than 50 health professionals from the state of Kentucky to discuss how to take action on coal and clean energy issues and how that will intersect with chemical companies.
  • Nominated by the school counselor for “Best Academic Partnership” in the state of West Virginia for tutoring program with high school youth.
  • Furthered the use and upkeep of a geographic information database, which allows for custom map creation, report creation, geographic analysis, and contains all digitized maps, testing points, boundaries and land ownership parcels from past, current and future (as available) field work activities.
  • Stopped a childcare freeze that would have affected all working parents in the state earning between 150% and 185% of the poverty line and worked to convince the governor to stop childcare cuts to low income working families, directly affecting 800 families that were scheduled to be cut.
  • Conducted a three-hour-long popular education workshop on the Prison Industrial Complex in Central Appalachia for over 45 college students from schools across the Southeast and Midwest.
  • Successfully coordinated events in 15 states, including activities at 45 colleges and universities that reached approximately 3,000 additional students and community members interested in the impacts of mountaintop removal and other extraction industries.
  • Brought global awareness to the problem of mountaintop removal by co-hosting the first-ever Women’s Climate Justice Tribunal, where women from WV, VA, KY and TN testified about the impacts of coal and  jurists called for increased health studies and an immediate moratorium on mountaintop removal.
  • Radio work against the Prison Industrial Complex lead to the creation of the Central Appalachian Prisoner Support Network, a regional network of activists dedicated to working against the PIC in Central Appalachia.
  • Successfully assisted 20 at-risk high school students living in poverty to find paying jobs and taught them how to help their community.
  • Convened over 22 leaders living in nine counties of the Cumberland Mountains region to a strategy meeting to discuss ways those impacted by resource extraction and storage issues could win on their issues by organizing.
  • Provided organizing training and campaign support to residents fighting new mining developments. New leadership in the area developed a website to keep their neighbors informed on the issue; and they have sent 60 letters calling for a public hearing regarding a permit for a new coal processing plant in the area.
  • Aired dozens of messages of support and solidarity to prisoners during a prisoner-led hunger strike at Red Onion State Prison in Wise County, Virginia. Activists from across the country called into the show to send messages over the radio to the striking men.
  • Crafted and distributed educational materials to community members and schools on obesity and Bisphenol A (BPA), which is a carbon-based synthetic compound.
  • Collected, processed, shipped, and analyzed water samples for seven common metals from active and proposed mine sites. This testing has resulted in identification and documentation of streams and drainage polluted by arsenic, manganese and total dissolved solids (TDS).
  • Persuaded 21 childcare centers to adopt policies that exceeded the current regulation and proposed new guidelines. Children served by participating centers are now getting 60-90 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily, which meets or exceeds the national recommendations.