Program Overview | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Program Overview

Friday, April 19   |   Saturday, April 20   |   Sunday, April 21



Friday, April 19, 2013

1 pm

Optional pre-conference tours (choose one):

      • Historic towns of Benham and Lynch (including stops at Coal Mining Museum and Portal 31 Mine Tour)
      • Black Mountain Thunder Zipline
      • Hike in Blanton Forest, an old-growth forest on the side of Pine Mountain
      • Hike to Bad Branch Falls in Letcher County
      • Art exhibits in Letcher and Harlan counties
5 – 7 pm

Conference registration, information expo, light snacks at the Harlan Convention Center

Participants are on your own for dinner.

7 – 9 pm

Opening Session at Harlan Convention Center

After coal: Welsh and Appalachian mining communities. Film clips and discussion with guests from Wales about that country’s experience with the decline of coal mining in the 1980's. Panelists include: Hywel Francis, a labor historian and current member of British Parliament; Mair Francis, a founder of Dove Workshop, a community development program in Wales; and Appalachian scholars Tom Hansell, Pat Beaver, and Helen Lewis.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

8 – 9 am

Conference registration, information expo, coffee and breakfast snacks at Harlan Convention Center

9 – 11 am

Perspectives on a Just Transition

Panelists include: Justin Maxson, President of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development; Sue Tallichet, chairperson of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth; Ivy Brashear, KFTC member and journalist; Gerry Roll, Director of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky; Bennie Massey, City Council member from Lynch, KY; Todd Howard, Floyd County farmer and community leader; Anthony Flaccavento, a 2012 Congressional candidate, farmer, and community development practitioner from southwestern Virginia; Joe Uhlein, Director of Labor Network for Sustainability. 

11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Transition Stories

Lessons from communities and regions that have experienced economic transition. Panelists include: Ada Smith, program director at Appalachian Media Institute; Brendan Smith, a former cod-fisherman from Newfoundland, Canada; Anthony Flaccavento, a farmer from Southwestern Virginia; Martin Richards, Executive Director of the Community Farm Alliance; Wahleah Johns, member of Navaho (Dine) tribe and leader in the Black Mesa Water Coalition in Arizona; Noah Enlow, economist working on forest and fisheries issues with EcoTrust in the Pacific Northwest.

12:30 – 1:30 pm

Lunch served at the Harlan Center

1:30 – 3:00 pm


    • Examples of community-based transition efforts
    • Building a local food economy
    • Land and stream reclamation
    • Supporting entrepreneurship
    • Expanding broadband internet access
    • Journalists' perspectives on Appalachian transition 
    • Workers' perspectives on Appalachian transition

3:30 – 5:00 pm

Forum Theater

This session is an opportunity to test and practice honest, hard and constructive conversations about the future of eastern Kentucky and the idea of a just transition. A facilitator will lead us through an interactive method designed to encourage dialogue about tough issues.

5:00 – 6:30 pm

Break and travel to East KY Social Club in Lynch, KY

6:30 pm  9:30 pm

Dinner and Concert

We’ll relocate to the East Kentucky Social Club in Lynch for an evening of great food, music and fellowship. An evening performance will start around 7:30 pm and feature guests Randy Wilson, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Chris Owen, the Mount Sinai Spirituals, We're Alright Jazz Band, Ashley Long and Donavan Cain, and Brooklyhn Woods.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

8 – 9 am

Coffee and light breakfast served at Harlan Center

9 – 10:30 am


    • Building local economies through arts and culture
    • Community planning: creating the future together
    • Affordable, energy efficient housing
    • Sustainable forestry
    • Renewable energy
    • Funding a just transition in Central Appalachia: options for long-term investment
    • Youth perspectives on Appalachian transition

10:45 am – 12:00 pm

Closing Session

Reflections from panelists and participants and a discussion of ways to move forward together. We’ll also enjoy a presentation of a mural and other artwork created during the conference.

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