Trip Prep Update #1

Tonight marked Barnard-Columbia Mountain Stewards’ second official trip prep meeting, and the team is very excited!

In each of these meetings, we go over important details about our spring break project, such as the itinerary, fundraising efforts, and group goals. But more importantly, we use this time to learn about the issues surrounding mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia.

After last week’s meeting  about the physical process of mountaintop mining and its associated health risks, we spent our second meeting discussing the labor history and subculture of coal miners. To trigger conversation, we watched, read, and listened to a few prominent figures–both real and fictional–associated with coal mining in Appalachia. You can check out these media below.

Union organizer Joe Kenehan’s speech from Matewan

Mother Jones’ famous “Speech to Striking Coal Miners” in West Virginia…

Merle Travis’ folk anthem on coal mine conditions, “Dark as a Dungeon”…

Moving forward, Barnard-Columbia Mountain Stewards will continue to meet weekly to prepare for the upcoming trip and learn more about the complex issues of the Appalachian coal industry. You can expect an update like this one after each trip prep meeting until we depart for Virginia, so be sure to follow our blog!

– Daniel Bergerson


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