New Economy Network: UNITY Listening Sessions

UNITY listening sessions were held throughout Southwest Virginia in 2022 and 2023 to hear community members’ concerns and to discuss new economic opportunities and challenges facing the region.

ABOUT

UNITY Stands For Understanding the Need for Innovation by Talking with You. We are composed of three member groups of the New Economy Network: Appalachian Voices, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, and The Clinch Coalition. The New Economy Network (NEN) is a group of local residents who are interested in economic development, diversification, and transition work in the seven coalfield counties of Southwest Virginia. We greatly value your opinion and your voice in the region that we all call home. 

OUR ORGANIZATIONS

Appalachian Voices

Appalachian Voices is a regional environmental non-profit organization. Our scope of work includes cleaning up coal ash pollution, promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, and creating a new and sustainable economy in Appalachia. Looking forward, our office in Norton plans to expand solar energy accessibility in SWVA, work to reclaim abandoned mine lands, and help communities build their resiliency in the face of natural disasters. 

The Clinch Coalition

The Clinch Coalition is a community-based environmental community-based environmental organization that believes in the importance of appreciating, understanding, and protecting our environment. We feel that doing so is essential to improving our quality of life and well-being. The Clinch Coalition maintains a Joint Plan of Work with Virginia Organizing.

Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards

Founded in 2007, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS) is a grassroots organization of concerned community members and their allies working to address the legacy costs of extraction. SAMS works within the geological area south of the Pine Mountain Ridgeline’s point atop Black Mountain, building environmentally and socially conscious grassroots networks within the coalfield counties and towns its members call home. As an organization, SAMS represents the way local communities can empower themselves to fight for environmental progress, a just and novel approach to economic transition, and equitable social change.

Virginia Organizing

Virginia Organizing is a non-partisan statewide grassroots organization dedicated to challenging injustice by empowering people in local communities to address issues that affect the quality of their lives. Virginia Organizing especially encourages the participation of those who have traditionally had little or no voice in our society. Terran is their Wise County Organizer and has been working to uplift marginalized voices in support of justice in the coalfields.

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Contact:

Appalachian Voices
New Economy Field Coordinator Emma Kelly
emma@appvoices.org
(865)585-4939

The Clinch Coalition
Program Director Jala Tyler
jala.tyler.tcc@gmail.com

Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards
Community Organizer Jess Mullins Fullen
jesswithSAMS@gmail.com

Virginia Organizing
Terran Young
tyoung@virginia-organizing.org

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