On August 1, Southerly will host an event called “Our East Kentucky Home: A Community Conversation,” in Pikeville, Kentucky. We will discuss media coverage and important issues in Appalachia, then break out into smaller groups led by Lyndsey Gilpin, editor-in-chief of Southerly who is based in Knott County; Sydney Boles, reporter for Ohio Valley Resource based in Whitesburg; and Will Wright, reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader based in Pikeville, to talk about the issues affecting Eastern Kentucky. 

With community members, nonprofit organizations, local officials, church and community leaders, and representatives from other local media outlets, we’ll discuss the impacts of coal on Eastern Kentucky’s land and water; quality of life issues like affordable housing, healthcare, and access to resources; and jobs and the future of work in the region. We’ll talk about the process reporters go through when reporting stories on these topics and answer any questions you may have, and also have a Q&A and reflection session at the end about potential solutions to challenges the region faces. 

Our conversation will be facilitated by journalists, but we want you — the people who know the place you live best — to lead the discussion, help us find stories we’re missing, connect with each other, and figure out ways to more accurately reflect the challenges and successes in Eastern Kentucky.

This event is supported by the PEN America Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to defend and celebrate free expression in the U.S and worldwide, and the Center for Rural Strategies, which seeks to improve economic and social conditions for communities in the countryside and around the world through the creative and innovative use of media and communications.

Event details:
August 1, 6pm to 8pm
Garfield Community Center
178 College St., Pikeville, Kentucky 41501

  • In groups, we’ll discuss the future of work, coal’s impacts on water and land, healthcare, housing, and more.
  • We’ll workshop ideas for solutions to these challenges with community leaders.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to talk about these ideas to local officials who will be present.
  • You’ll meet local reporters who tell Appalachia’s stories, and can ask them question about journalism processes and how reporting works.
  • Enjoy FREE food and beverages.

Invite your friends, families, and whoever else may be in the area. Please RSVP on Facebook, and don’t hesitate to email lgilpin@southerlymag.wpcomstaging.com with any questions.

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