Appalachian Voices would like to welcome Tarence Ray, the newest member of our team! Serving as our new Central Appalachian Field Coordinator, Tarence will be working in central Appalachia helping expand our Appalachian Water Watch project and working on federal policy to end mountaintop removal coal mining.
Tarence was born in Lubbock, Texas, and was raised in the rural oilfields of southeastern New Mexico. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Texas at Austin. Tarence’s interest in the socio-economic parallels between his home region and the coalfields of central Appalachia brought him to eastern Kentucky in 2012.
Since then, he has served two terms as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Letcher County, Ky., focusing on the connections between water quality, systemic poverty, mine safety, the black lung benefits system and the environmental impacts of coal mining.
Tarence is also a programmer and occasional radio producer at Appalshop’s WMMT-FM in Whitesburg, Ky., and is a contributor to the Center for Rural Strategy’s blog about rural issues, The Daily Yonder. He uses his spare time to research obscure topics, argue about the Civil War, and practice his hand at multiple musical instruments.
Please join us in extending a hearty welcome to Tarence!