Photo Credit: Humans of Central Appalachia

Highlander celebrates the life and legacy of Carol Judy, a member of our family who has transitioned early this morning.  Carol was a lifelong activist in rural Appalachia, and she was instrumental in the formations of many groups, including the Woodland Community Land Trust, MountainMade MountainWays, Fair Trade Appalachia, and Clear Fork Community Institute.

Many called Carol the “Forest Granny” because of her intimate knowledge of the land and her passion for sharing her wisdom. Carol emphasized how the land in Appalachia was not only part of culture, but also our bloodline. She illustrated that the earth around us rose from loved ones who have transitioned from life. She saw it as a duty to uplift the importance of land and the communities in our region.

When asked about what makes Appalachia special, Carol said “Freedom. Fulfillment. Connections. Interesting things. Knowledge. Good people. An ecosystem that lets me learn with it, and the potential for helping others to discover better balance. There’s a lot of healing that has to be done, and you heal best if you’re able to look at what’s going on, ” via

Carol has been a part of the Highlander community for a long time, even as recently as connecting with our current class of Greensboro Justice Fellows and by coming out to support an impromptu political art party.

We can all learn from Carol’s tireless work and hope to carry on her legacy by uplifting her story and fighting for the long-haul. She is now our ancestor and her impact in our region will be forever cherished.

Rest in Power, Carol.

For more info about Carol, she tells her own story for Humans of Central Appalachia Friends of Carol have organized a paypal account, where those who are able can send financial support