Throughout Appalachia corporations control local economies and absentee ownership of land makes it difficult for communities to protect their waterways, mountains, and forests. Yet among all this uncertainty are committed citizens who have organized themselves to confront both external power holders and often their own local, state, and federal agents. Determined to make their voice heard and to improve their living conditions, newfound partnerships between community activists and faculty and students at community colleges and universities have formed to challenge powerful bureaucratic infrastructures and to protect local ecosystems and communities.
Confronting Ecological Crisis: University and Community Partnerships in Appalachia and the South addresses a wide range of cases that have presented challenges to local environments, public health, and social justice faced by the people of this region. Editors Stephanie McSpirit, Lynne Faltraco, and Conner Bailey, along with community leaders and their university partners, describe stories of unlikely unions between faculty, students, and Appalachian communities in which both sides learn from one another and, most importantly, form a unique alliance in the fight against corporate control. Confronting Ecological Crisis is a comprehensive look at the citizens and organizations that have emerged to fight the continued destruction of Appalachia.
"The authors reflect very honestly about their experiences working together across overlapping academic, Appalachian, and Southern communities in their efforts to promote environmental justice and community well-being. Academic scholarship has too often been one more extractive industry in these regions. Residents of historically marginalized communities, or "subjects," have been more or less patiently educating academics for decades across a class divide that has widened. This book bridges that divide, acknowledging the diversity of contributions individuals participating in various communities (sometimes simultaneously) bring to documenting and addressing environmental injustice. It is a useful text in working toward more sustainable partnerships." -- Ann Kingsolver, Director of the Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program, University of Kentucky
" Confronting Ecological Crisis is a comprehensive look at the citizens and organizations that have emerged to fight the continued destruction of Appalachia." -- Southeastern Naturalist
"It should be required reading for faculty and students contemplating doing participatory research.... Highly recommended." -- Choice Magazine
"This book should be required reading for all faculty, especially at Appalachian college and universities." -- Appalachian Heritage
""Each of the 11 short chapters chronicles a collaborative project, is extensively documented, and is well written by both activists and academics, making for interesting reading." -- A.A. Hickey, Choice" --
"This book [...] inspires because it brings together accounts of effective citizen action and productive partnerships with academic institutions and personnel in response to environmental assaults and degradation; corporate greed and irresponsibility; and bureaucratic and regulatory collusion, neglect, and inaction.
[...] This volume makes a strong case for democratic participation in all arenas,whether in the community or the university, with activism not relegated to one or the other." -- Journal of Appalachian Studies