On Saturday, July 25, Appalachian Voices and several of our partner organizations facilitated the first statewide gathering of North Carolina communities impacted by coal ash. Residents from across the state, from towns like Goldsboro, Lumberton, and Belmont, and counties such as Lee and Chatham, gathered in Belews Creek. The area is home of one of the state’s largest coal ash ponds as well as a local group fighting for justice in their community, Residents for Coal Ash Cleanup. Citizens told stories of contaminated well water and new ash landfills that threaten their communities. The solidarity and inspiration was felt strongly throughout the room as those most harmed by Duke Energy’s coal ash discussed a set of unifying principles and formed a statewide alliance to better advocate to Duke Energy and the government for their communities’ needs.