Strengthening Appalachia: Sustainable Energy, Renewable Energy, and Energy Efficiency" December 4-5, 2014 / Benham, KY

“Strengthening Appalachia: Sustainable Energy, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency”

December 4-5, 2014 / Benham, KY <To register

Deadline to apply: Nov. 24, 2014

Join the AppFellows, host communities like Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, UT Green Initiative, Alliance for Appalachia, OVEC, and others, and folks working in sustainable energy across sectors throughout Appalachia to share your work, learn what’s happening throughout the region, and connect and strategize to advance the work as we move forward together. The host community of Benham in Harlan county is happy to welcome you and spotlight the Benham Energy Project.

Registration is a sliding scale of $30-$70 per person and includes 1.5 days of popular education workshops and breakfast and lunch on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5. The gathering will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 4 with an optional social event Dec. 4 at the Eastern KY Social Club, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Dec. 5.

Lodging is not included in the registration fee. To reserve a room at the Benham Schoolhouse Inn where the event will be held, please call 606-848-3000 and let them know you are with the Highlander Center event, you need to reserve a single room, and you need to arrange payment with them. (We have 17 single rooms held for participants at a first-come, first-serve basis).

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Wright at elizabeth (at) or at 865-356-1655.


Thursday, Dec. 4

9 a.m.: Welcome and Introductions

10 a.m.: What is the Economy We Want? What is a Value Chain?

11 a.m.: Lay of the Land: Mapping Sustainable Energy in Appalachia

Noon: Lunch

1 p.m.: Showcasing Energy Fellowship Projects / Panel Discussion

2 p.m.: Break

2:15 p.m. Small Group Break-Out Sessions

3:15 p.m.: Reflections: Connecting our Own Work to Regional Efforts

4:15 p.m.: Open Space

5:15 p.m. Closing

Friday, Dec. 5, 2014

9 a.m.: Check-ins and Grounding

9:30 am: Reflections

10 a.m. Next Steps: Moving Forward in Deeper Connection Throughout Appalachia

11:30 a.m.: Evaluation and Closing

Noon Lunch

Regional Gathering on Alternative Economies

March 5-6, Details TBA soon


Highlander Research & Education Center: Feed the movement Indiegogo Campaign!

The Highlander Research & Education Center Kitchen Campaign:
Feed the Movement! <To donate

We are raising money for much needed, new kitchen equipment used in serving thousands of meals each year to community leaders and organizers from across the South, the nation and the world. This new equipment will help us cook our delicious meals, store more fresh food from seasonal harvests, run our kitchen more efficiently and make better use of our precious human-hours.



Children's Justice Camp-Making Friends with Nature July 20-26

Also part of Seeds of Fire, our Children’s Justice Camp is a week-long summer camp for young people 6-12 years of age whose families are interested in social democracy, justice, and environmental awareness. At the camp, children from diverse racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and cultural backgrounds join together for a week of sharing, fun, learning, and growing.

Click here to apply for Children’s Camp

The dates for Children’s Justice Camp 2014 will be July 20-26, 2014

Click here for information on the next Children’s Justice Camp.


UALE Southern Women's Worker School: August 14-17, 2014


Come join women from across the South and Appalachia, from labor unions and non-traditional worker organizing groups, to develop leadership skills and share strategies to strengthen worker organizing.

 Registration is closed as of 8-6-2014


Sessions could include:

“News from the South” (Successes from worker movements in the South)

Talking About Unions (“The Union Difference”)

Popular Economics – Common Sense Economics

Leadership Development and Worker Organizing

Community/Labor Coalition Building

Labor History and Southern Women

Immigration and Workers Rights

Using Culture to Organize


People of color, people with disabilities, non-union workers organizing for justice, lesbian/bisexual and/or transgendered people, younger and older workers, recent immigrants, people from all faith traditions and economic class backgrounds are welcome. In our diversity, we build solidarity as workers and union members.

Cost for event (includes program, meals and lodging) is $450.00. We will be offering Spanish/English interpretation and child care will be available if needed. Some partial and full scholar-ships are available through the generous support of the United Association of Labor Education Women’s Committee and the Berger-Marks Foundation.


For more information contact Susan Williams at Highlander Center: [email protected], 865-360-7042.


Highlander Research and Education Center:

Highlander began in 1932 during the Great Depression in Monteagle, Tennessee, supporting union organizing in the Southern United States. Now located east of Knoxville at a workshop center in East Tennessee, Highlander continues to support groups across the South working in economic, racial and environmental justice, labor and worker organizing, education, immigrant rights and democracy. Through the years, Highlander has worked with unions and organizations supporting factory workers, miners, farm workers, educators, service and government workers.

United Association of Labor Education, Women’s Committee

With appreciation to Berger-Marks Foundation for scholarship support


Join an amazing group of women at the historic and inspiring Highlander Center August 14-17!


'Put the People First; Rally, Parade and Community BBQ' in Knoxville May 1st: 6PM


When: Thursday May 1st, 6pm – 8pm

Where: Market Square, Knoxville; parade to Harriet Tubman Park

 Event Agenda

6:00pm – Rally at Market Square w/ Rev. Butler of the NAACP

6:30pm – Parade from Market Square to Harriet Tubman Park

7:00pm  – Community BBQ w/ Speakers and Performers, Harriet Tubman Park,

300 Harriet Tubman Street

*5:30pm – Meet at Vine Middle School parking lot for bus transportation to Market Square; If you cannot arrive at Vine before the event, cars will be available to take you back to your vehicle downtown after the BBQ. 


Workers, Activists, Artists, Residents, and Students JOIN US!

A broad coalition of unions, community, student, civil rights, and faith groups, representing thousands of members will gather at Market Square in downtown Knoxville to demand Tennessee’s elected officials Put the People First. Under the banners of “A Living Wage, Public Education and Democratic Rights for All” residents will rally and march to Harriet Tubman Park, across from Vine Middle School for a community BBQ.


As a continuation of the highly-attended event held on the steps of the Tennessee State Capital on March 11 of this year, Put the People First is now building an active statewide coalition of labor, racial justice, economic and public education workers to demand the Tennessee State government abandon their attack on Public Education, Wages, Labor Organizing and our Democratic Rights to assemble and voice dissent toward harmful policies and legislation. Put the People First call on our elected officials to make the interests of working Tennesseans their top priority.


Put the People First Sponsors

Highlander Research and Education Center

United Campus Workers

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Sierra Club

Knox County Education Association

Jobs With Justice East Tennessee

Knoxville-Oak Ridge Area Central Labor Council

Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment

Allies of Knoxville’s Immigrant Neighbors

Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development

Progressive Student Alliance

Interfaith Worker Justice

United Food and Commercial Workers

Episcopal Peace Fellowship

Knox County Democratic Party


Additional Information




Highlander's 6th Wild & Wacky, Witty & Wonderful Workshop Work Week: May 27-31, 2014

Click here to apply.

Come to the mountains of east Tennessee and spend one of the best starts to your summer ever with Highlander staff and people from around the country at W-7.6, our 6th Wild & Wacky, Witty & Wonderful Workshop Work Week, May 27-31, 2014. Starts 6:00 pm on Tuesday, May 27, and concludes with lunch at noon on Saturday, May 31.

SOCIAL CHANGE WORK: Spend half of your day in those renowned rocking chairs engaging on the idea of Highlander – workshops on popular education, organizing, movement building, & the history of social change and what all that can mean in your organizing and community work today.

WORK TEAMS: Spend another part of your day in service to the place of Highlander. As part of a team – and in a praxis that continues learning from each other through dialogue and educational exchange – prune in the orchard, cultivate in the garden, clear a hiking trail, plant trees ‘on the hill’, file in our library, or build a bench, for example. There are jobs for all levels of skill and ability.

EVENINGS: As the sun prepares to set, we continue the fun. In the evenings, we’ll sing, share stories around a fire, and square dance with a caller and live band (lessons provided).

DETAILS/COST: It’s a proven good ol’ Highlander throw-down that starts with supper at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, May 27, and concludes with lunch at noon on Saturday, May 31. Sliding scale $350-600. Some par-tial scholarships available. Please complete an application form before paying. If you’re applying for a scholarship, please call us to request a form: 865-933-3443 ext 221 for Thomas Coward.

For more information and how to apply email or call Thomas Coward: [email protected] or 865-933-3443 ext. 221 or email Susan Williams at [email protected]

Column on Scott Bates and the Highlander's Early Years


Daniel Brook is the author of A History of Future Cities and The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All America. His journalism has appeared in Harper’s, The Nation, Slate, and The Baffler. He wrote a column for “Oxford American” about the Late Scott Bates and reflects on Highlander’s early years.

It can also be found at

What's Next? for the Movement to end Mountaintop Removal Webinar Dec. 9th. 11am EST/8am PST


The work to end mountaintop removal stripmining is evolving and The Alliance for Appalachia would like to invite you to be a part of a conversation about what we’ve learned and where our movement is headed next.
As you know, over the last seven years we won hard fought regulations together that decreased mountaintop removal stripmining and its impacts across our region. These victories have been amplified by a booming gas market, limits on coal-fired power plants, and ever harder to reach coal seams. And that’s a part of the story right now—but there’s so much more. New mines are being proposed—mines designed around loop holes in regulations to feed a growing exports market. And beyond the new mining itself, our communities are forced to deal with legacy costs of old mines, including toxic water, jeopardized health and a gutted economy. The Alliance for Appalachia is adapting and ready to meet these new challenges.

What unifies this new chapter of our work?
–Federal and local campaigns for safe water.
–Exploring our role in economic transition.
–Collaborating with communities across the nation that are working toward a safe and bright future in their homes.

Join us for a hour and a half on December 9th for a webinar hosted by The Alliance for Appalachia to hear from leaders across our region about how our shared work is evolving and how you can be a part of it.

For our future,
The Alliance for Appalachia Coordinating Committee
Katey Lauer, Alliance for Appalachia Coordinator
Teri Blanton, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
Laura Miller, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards
Donna Branham, Keepers of the Mountains
Alice Howell, Cumberland Chapter Sierra Club
Patrick Morales, Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment

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The Alliance for Appalachia is:
Appalachian Voices
Coal River Mountain Watch
Keep of the Mountains
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment
Sierra Club Environmental Justice
Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards
STAY Project
West Virginia Highlands Conservancy
and now…
Gainsville Loves Mountains
Hands of Appalachia!
Highlander Research and Education Center

Highlander Selected as Three Rivers Market's Nourshing Change Recipient for June

Knoxville’s Community Food Co-Op, Three Rivers Market selected Highlander as their Nourshing Change recipient for June. The purpose of Nourishing Change is to support actual change in the community by donating spare change at the register when you buy your items. It will be a great chance to fund our current work  for the month of June.

Three Rivers Market is located on 1100 N. Central St., Knoxville, TN  37917. Their phone number is 865-525-2069.