“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
Lyndsey Gilpin is the editor and publisher of Southerly. Based in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, she travels throughout the American South to report on climate change, environmental justice, energy, economic development, rural and urban issues, and more. A full-time freelancer, her work has appeared in Harper’s, Vice, The Daily Beast, CityLab, High Country News, FiveThirtyEight, The Washington Post, Hakai, The Atlantic, Grist, Outside, and InsideClimate News. Lyndsey earned her Master’s from Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She is on the board of directors for the Society of Environmental Journalists, has been an Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources fellow, and was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for her 2016 High Country News investigation of sexual harassment in the National Park Service. Read her work here.
Clancy Calkins is a filmmaker, journalist, and restless explorer who is always looking for new opportunities, schemes, and ways to make good ideas happen. She has worked as a video producer for the Chicago Tribune, Kartemquin Films, as an assistant editor on the MSNBC original documentary series Ricochet about Chicago gun violence which won the Peter Lisagor Award for Best Use of Online Video in 2014. Clancy lives in Cincinnati, Ohio where she freelances for clients like BBC News, BuzzFeed News, CBS, as well as many nonprofits and corporations. She has a Master’s in journalism with a specialty in film and broadcast from Northwestern University’s Medill program, and holds a degree in Geography with special research in Geology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She combines what she has learned in both disciplines to make documentary films focusing on social issues, dissent, travel, and environment.