Solutions, a publication “devoted to showcasing bold and innovative ideas for solving the world's integrated ecological, social, and economic problems”, has dedicated the platform of its fourth issue to highlighting needs and opportunities related to Central Appalachia’s economic transition. Featuring stories from legendary Kentucky author Wendell Berry to seasoned local activists and organizers like Vernon Haltrom of Coal River Mountain Watch, Solutions gives space to an incredibly pertinent dialogue.
Solutions advocates for “a sustainable and desirable future” – and that’s something the involved community members in Appalachia certainly know something about, so the joining of the subjects and the medium seems a good fit. The journal includes features written by nationally-recognized experts, who draw upon experience from areas outside Appalachia to share examples of possible ways forward for the region’s long-time and capable local heroes, with examples of home-grown transition efforts already making progress throughout the region.
One such example lifted up is the work of Dawn Coppock and Pat Hudson, of the Church of the Savior in Knoxville, TN. Through their participation in their church, and in tribute to a friend of theirs that passed away, the two women joined together to form LEAF – Lindquist Environmental Appalachian Fellowship, named after the late Kathy Lindquist. The group has moved from providing information they describe as “coal-mining-for-the-mildly-informed” to providing messaging and materials to over 2,000 churches throughout Tennessee, as well as to legislators in Nashville and Washington, DC. More about their Tennessee-based efforts, as well as their partnerships with groups working on transition issues across Central Appalachia, is detailed in their story.
The issue is available in full, in hard-copy and many of the stories can be accessed online. Stories featured in the 4th edition will continue to be loaded to the journal’s website, where articles from previous issues are also accessible, including Wes Jackson’s proposal for stimulating local agriculture by passing a ‘50-year Farm Bill’.