Stories

Appalachia

  • Reframing the Issue: Inside the 2014 West Virginia water crisis

    On January 9, 2014, 300,000 people in and around Charleston, West Virginia, woke up to a licorice-like odor emanating from their tap water. Thousands of gallons of coal-processing chemicals had spilled into the Elk River, plunging nine counties into a state of emergency. Health officials issued warnings against drinking, cooking with or bathing in the water.

    Government leaders were...

  • New Executive Director Named at Babcock

    The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation is pleased to welcome Justin Maxson as its new Executive Director. Maxson’s leadership experience and dedication to helping communities achieve greater social and economic justice will be profound assets to the Foundation.

    Since 2002, Maxson has served as President of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development in Kentucky, where he...

    Justin Maxson
  • Young people are moving Appalachia's economic transition forward

    Every day across various media platforms we are flooded with news about the downturn in our economy. In Appalachia, where the economy has traditionally been not so diverse, this often means layoffs in the coal industry, outsourcing of factory jobs and lack of job opportunities. Our young people are seeing this and taking note. Many of us have been encouraged to leave our mountains to...

    App Fellows
  • New Network Officer Announced

    As many of you know, I have been serving as Interim Executive Director of the Babcock Foundation since May 1, and I expect to remain in that position until at least the end of the year when a permanent Executive Director is in place. I appreciate the support and patience of our partners as my time has been diverted from relationships in the field and particularly in Appalachia....
  • Out of the Ashes of the Coal Economy, a Bright Future?

    The last couple of years have brought substantial new economic challenges to Appalachian Kentucky. Already saddled with being one of the poorest regions in the country, mountain communities are being hit hard by steep layoffs in the coal industry. Since 2011, eastern Kentucky has lost more than 5,700 good-paying coal mining jobs. That’s a loss of 42% of the area’s coal workforce.

    This...