Stories

Oral Histories: Southern Voices

  • Ines Polonius: Vision

    Ines Polonius spearheaded the merger of Community Resource Group and alt.Consulting to form Communities Unlimited, which offers infrastructure services and economic entrepreneurial growth strategies in seven states.

    As Executive Director of alt.Consulting, Polonius worked with hundreds of small businesses in manufacturing, distribution, service and retail. Among the services Polonius...

  • Mayra Rangel: Evolution of ACIJ

    At age 16, Mayra Rangel walked through the desert for six days to escape poverty and find a job to support her family back in Mexico. Her activism began in 2011 when the Alabama legislature passed HB56, the nation’s strictest immigration law. She helped the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice defeat many parts of the bill. Since then, she has continued to volunteer, organize, register...

    Mayra Rangel
  • Sustainability and Hope

    Every spring, Earth Day breathes new life into dormant conversations about the need to protect the environment without sacrificing employment. For regions with deep connections to the land, that requires a complete overhaul of the way they’ve long done business. But parts of the South are enthusiastically rising to the challenge, investing in ambitious plans to create diverse, sustainable...

  • Stephanie Tyree: Defining Appalachian Transition

    Stephanie Tyree has served as Director of Community Engagement and Policy at the Hub since November 2012. The statewide non-profit organization’s mission is to engage communities and providers in an intentional, aligned and continuous system of community development. Before joining the Hub, Tyree worked as a community organizer and state policy coordinator in the southern West Virginia...

  • Justin Maxson: Why Appalachia Matters

    From 2002 to 2015, Justin Maxson served as President of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development in Kentucky, where he supported and generated innovative development strategies, including small enterprise lending and technical assistance solutions, energy efficiency support strategies and targeted research and policy efforts aimed at creating benefits for low-to-moderate...