Randy Wilson, Centre graduate and fifth generation Appalachian, will speak at an upcoming convocation entitled, “Uprooting Poverty in Appalachia” on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Centre’s Vahlkamp Theater.
Wilson says, “I care deeply about this area where I’ve lived most of my life.” He has been an environmental and cultural activist for decades. “I love Eastern Kentucky, but I want more options for everyone in these hills.”
Wilson has been a Coalfield Delegate to the United Nations Conference on Energy and Sustainability and a representative to Columbia with Witness for Peace. He currently serves as Folk Arts Director for Hindman Settlement School in Eastern Kentucky and teaches banjo at Centre College, among other things.
“My father worked on the railroad, hauling coal out of our region, but so much has changed since that time,” says Wilson. “For one thing, producing electricity in the old ways, with big power plants far away, is no longer cheap.”
“You can’t plan the amount of destruction that’s planned for Eastern Kentucky and not have it impact the land and the people,” he says.
Wilson will be joined by Lisa Abbot, Leadership Development Coordinator for Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KFTC), an organization that assists communities in organizing and working toward change on a variety of issues.