ecology + justice + culture in the american south


“If you live in a wooded suburb of Boston and treasure the preserved lands next door, if you live in the dense neighborhoods of Boulder, Colorado and like to go to Rocky Mountain National Park for your summer hikes, your relationship to the land is secure, a privilege enshrined in law. But if you love the hills of southern West Virginia or eastern Kentucky, if they form your idea of beauty and rest, your native or chosen image of home, then your love has prepared your heart for breaking. ”

— Jedediah Purdy, After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene

In the age of the Anthropocene, the South faces vast and complex ecological challenges. This region stands to bear the brunt and lose the most from the effects of climate change. It is experiencing massive economic shifts from a changing energy industry. The South is the fastest urbanizing area of the U.S., but it is also the most economically distressed. Southerners deserve a publication that covers the nuances of their environment, history, and communities without being condescending or stereotypical, without parachuting in from large metropolitan areas. The rest of the world deserves to know about the creative ways communities here are adapting to these changes, and the challenges that come with that.

That’s where Southerly comes in.

Our independent media organization covers the intersection of ecology, justice, and culture in the American South. Southerly explores the complicated relationship between Southern communities and their environment — whether that’s along the Atlantic coast, in the hollers of Appalachia, on Tennessee farmland, or in the Mississippi Delta. We shed light on strong journalism and pressing stories, and provide insight and analysis about overlooked local news. In our weekly newsletter, we analyze a timely topic — from greenhouse gas emissions to water infrastructure, agriculture to the fossil fuel economy, environmental injustice in communities of color to the impacts of federal energy policy — and curate sharp, nuanced journalism from local, regional, and national news outlets.

About the Founder

headshot.pngLyndsey Gilpin is the founder and editor-in-chief of Southerly. Based in the coalfields of Eastern Kentucky, she is a reporter and editor who has covered climate change, energy, environmental justice all over the U.S. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, Vice, The Daily Beast, CityLab, Undark, High Country News, FiveThirtyEight, The Washington Post, Hakai, The Atlantic, Grist, Outside, and InsideClimate News. She earned her master’s degree from Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Read more here.