HOT OFF THE PRESS: APPFELLOWS
2014-15 EVALUATION REPORT
We're excited to share this evaluation report of the inaugural cycle of the Appalachian Transition Fellowship program.
Conducted by Rural Support Partners, the report lifts up many of the strengths and successes we heard over the year of the fellowship as well as the holistic contributions the program made in the lives of young leaders. Through this investment in their leadership and skills, fellows were able to stay or return to the region to tap into their talents and ideas, to be creative problem solvers, and to build opportunities for cross-sector collaboration and impact through their fellowship projects in communities throughout Central Appalachia.
We welcome your thoughts and questions on the report's findings! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865-356-1655 for more information or to share your feedback.
LOOKING FORWARD: APPFELLOWS 2016
As we celebrate the completion of the inaugural cohort of the 2014-15 Appalachian Transition Fellowship and work steadily toward a second cycle, we are excited to provide an update and share the successes and impacts of the program, the accomplishments and leadership development of each fellow, the commitment and support of host community partners and funders, and the implications of the program on advancing a just economic transition in Central Appalachia.
The inaugural year of the fellowship welcomed 12 emerging leaders in 12 host communities made up of 33 cross-sector partners throughout the region. Fellows supported, initiated, and implemented work in central Appalachian counties of Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, and regionally that fostered new or strengthened existing collaboration among organizations and entities, boosting networks and connectivity within states and across the region and providing increased capacity in fields that are instrumental to a just transition, including:
· Green, sustainable and renewable energy initiatives in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio;
· Local food production and distribution efforts in Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, and throughout Appalachia;
· Worker-owned cooperatives and Appalachian media strategies in North Carolina and West Virginia;
· Policy and community advocacy to support communities throughout Appalachia in reclaiming abandoned mine lands;
· Statewide strategic development lifting up grassroots, community voices in West Virginia; and
· Job creation and resources through repurposed materials and the establishment of a Tool Lending Library in Athens, Ohio.
We celebrated the accomplishments of the inaugural cohort with a Closing Gathering in Knoxville on May 18-19, 2015, including a reception, discussions, and presentations. Fellows each presented a 10 minute ‘TED-type’ talk highlighting the personal and professional development they experienced. Their talks demonstrated impact, sparked dialogue about replicable models, looked toward regional communications and branding strategies for transition efforts, and further opportunities for cross-sector collaboration and connectivity across Central Appalachia. These presentations and the resources and materials created by each fellow are being collated and will be shared widely and available here when they are completed.
The Closing Gathering culminated in a day of reflection and evaluation with hosts and fellows facilitated by Rural Support Partners. As an innovative new program that spans states, sectors, and issues, the Appalachian Transition Fellowship was designed to meet stated goals and needs in the region: to support the next generation of emerging leaders in Appalachia through hands-on skill-building, real-world experience, and strong peer and mentor support; to increase connectivity and capacity of organizations and stakeholders working to accelerate transition in the region; and to foster a deep understanding of the complexities and opportunities needed to create a just and sustainable Appalachian economy. The fellowship met each of those goals, with tangible outcomes and impacts.
The fellowship is also a brand new concept and an experiment that provided many opportunities for lessons learned and improvements moving forward, and we are being diligent about gleaning those lessons. Feedback gathered throughout the fellowship, in monthly meetings with hosts and fellows, in regional gatherings with a broader audience, at the Closing Gathering, and in the final evaluation sessions with hosts and fellows, is being synthesized and analyzed with support from Rural Support Partners. Highlander Center staff, the AppFellows management team and the AppFellows Resource Team are currently delving into this information to inform the next fellowship cycle and to develop resources and replicable models for use in the region.
We look forward to sharing these outputs with you, and are sharing the latest information, detailed timelines, and resources and materials like the fellows’ multimedia presentations here as production is completed. Please continue to visit this website for updates.
If you have questions or would like to talk with us, please email email@example.com or call 865-850-3333 or 865-356-1655.
Thank you for your support.
Featured Blog Post
by Eric Dixon
APP FELLOWS IN THE NEWS
The inaugural cycle of the fellowship garnered a lot of buzz in the region and beyond. Read all about it here!
What is the Appalachian Transition Fellowship Program?
The Appalachian Transition Fellowship is a year-long, full-time, paid program designed for 15 emerging community leaders who are committed to working in Central Appalachia for the economic transition of the region. Central Appalachia is defined as West Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Tennessee, Appalachian Ohio and Western North Carolina.
This program offers the opportunity to spend a year working within host communities to help foster cross-sector (education, nonprofit, for-profit, philanthropy, and government) partnerships, provide needed capacity to regional efforts, and build personal and professional skills. Through institutional placements, independently designed projects, training, and mentoring, the program gives emerging leaders and host organizations skills and networks needed to advance economic and social change in the region.
Central Appalachia is engaged in a period of economic transition. While the decline of previously stable industries such as coal and manufacturing bring significant economic instability, it also offers Appalachia the opportunity to focus on the long-term well-being of its people and its communities. This economic transition allows regionally-based industries to prosper while also protecting and supporting the environmental and social well-being of the region. The Appalachian Transition Fellowship (AppFellows) seeks to increase the connectivity and capacity of Appalachian institutions and leaders while building a collective analysis and seeding projects to change the systemic problems in our region, leading to a just and sustainable Appalachian economy.
2014-15 Host Communities and Fellows
Appalachian Citizen's Law Center, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC), and Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) / Fellow: Eric Dixon - Whitesburg, KY
Community Farm Alliance, Foundation for Appalachian KY and Foundation for a Healthy KY/ Fellow: Mae Humiston - Eastern KY
Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC), City of Benham and Christian Outreach with Appalachian People (COAP) / Fellow: Josh Outsey - Benham, KY
Carolina Textile District and Opportunity Threads / Fellow: Willa Johnson - Morganton, NC
Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACENet), American Electric Power, Athens City Government and Rural Action / Fellow: Carol Davey - Athens, OH
ReUse Industries, Ohio University Voinovich School and Rural Action Zero Waste Streams / Fellow: Zack Swick - Athens, OH
UT Dept of Sociology and Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development (SEEED) / Fellow: Tom Torres - Knoxville, TN
Appalachian Sustainable Development and Virginia Tech / Fellow: Derrick Von Kundra - Abingdon, VA
Mid Ohio Valley Regional Council, Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and City of Spencer / Fellow: Adam Hall - Parkersburg, WV
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Mountain View Solar and One Foundation / Fellow: Tyler Cannon - Huntington, WV
The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, Charleston Area Medical Center (CMAC) and Corey Brothers / Fellow: Joey Aloi - Charleston, WV
WV Center for Civic Life, WV Community Development Hub and WV PBS / Fellow: Catherine Moore - Statewide West Virginia
The Alliance for Appalachia and Virginia Tech / Fellow: Kendall Bilbrey