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Never has there been a more important time to hear the voices of the next generation of leaders, folks who are trying to create a new nation, one community at a time — through social movements, politics, economic development, and other means. These conversations grew into a new weekly podcast I am launching this week called , which was the year that West Virginia entered the Union as a state.

Here are seven lessons we learned along the way — from organizers, advocates, entrepreneurs, and working families. For more about my trip through Appalachia and the Rust Belt, please listen to my new weekly podcast, , which features conversations with Appalachians and people in the Rust Belt working hard to bring hope and change to their communities.

This article originally appeared on Latino Rebels.

7 Lessons I learned from the Rust Belt and Appalachia

Is there a more fitting metaphor for the plight of our current political…. Toggle navigation.

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Too often, we think pain is what holds us back. But our pain — and the fact we have survived it — is also what fuels us.

When was the last time I did something that could have brought me ridicule, or pain? If the answer is not today, then I am doing something wrong.

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We need to be those heroes. Through art, through organizing, through shared knowledge and food. Its volunteers and staff told us about what made it unique — they did not charge for most events, they were staffed mostly by volunteers who would stick around after their shifts. No one rushed him. But the costs — to the environment, to the neighborhood, travel time, etc.

It used to be obvious in our region that businesses were supposed to be about more than profit, and that what we did outside the formal economy faith, school, family was more important than what we did inside. We learned there is still room for individual businesses to go beyond that bottom line, and that part of our job as organizers is to create the political and economic environment where those businesses are rewarded, not punished.

Deaths too soon, children tossed aside by the school system, names she had been called.

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Far more losses than wins. She took a deep breath.

Our Team – WVHKFC

Definition: to instill warmth, food, and loving nosy-ness into any situation. Originally published by the Missoula Independent.


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My life as a single mother has often meant looking up, helpless, waving goodbye like Wile E. Coyote, after […].

Stoking the Fire of Democracy : Our Generation's Introduction to Grassroots Organizing

Stephanie Land September 8, While she opened presents, I relished the memory of her entering my life. She was born a month after […]. Stephanie Land August 9, Photo credits to Ryan Dickey. Originally published in The Establishment. Stephanie Land November 10, Originally published on The Guardian. Mia has run me ragged since she knew how to walk. Jen tells her story of going from angry parent to organizer to school board member.