Mountain Witness Tour with Perry & Letcher Chapter Members | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Mountain Witness Tour with Perry & Letcher Chapter Members

This past Sunday and Monday, members in Knott, Perry, Leslie, and Letcher counties hosted a group of over a dozen students from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN.  The students came for their spring break to learn more about where their energy comes from and mountain people and culture.  They stayed in Knott County at the Lotts Creek Community School and learned from Alice Whitaker the rich history of the school and the community it serves.  They heard stories of the resistance to early strip mining by the school's founder, Alice Slone, as well as current efforts to protect their water and community through constant communication with the EPA.  

Daymon Morgan & Ethan HamblinOn Sunday, the students had lunch with Perry member, McKinley Sumner, and went on to visit the home of Daymon Morgan in Leslie County.  McKinley shared with the group his struggle for justice after a coal corporation trespassed on his land.  Daymon showed the students his property and the surrounding landscapes currently being strip mined.  Perry Countian and Berea student Ethan Hamblin, joined them along with a few EKU students. 

The group then spent Monday in Letcher County, eating at Summit City, watching a film at Appalshop, hiking Bad Branch falls, visiting the Valley of the Winds art gallery, and having dinner with members Elizabeth Sanders and Cody Montgomery.  Amelia Kirby discussed the making of her film, Up The Ridge with them at Appalshop, describing the collision of communities when mountain communities get max security prisons for "economic development" and inmates are shipped in from far away, without access to family.  Amelia is also co-founder of a similar WMMT project, Calls from Home and Hip Hop from the Hilltop, which the students listened to later on the radio at their dinner party.  Here, they also heard about KFTC's various statewide campaigns, from tax justice and transition to restoration of voting rights.  After only two days, students were already drawing their own parallels between our areas of work and their own community needs.  

Hen House dinner party Hen House dinner party
This Letcher county dinner party raised $225 and recruited 5 new associate members from MN to support our national legislation and future lobby weeks in DC with the Alliance for Appalachia. 


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