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Our East Kentucky Home: A Community Conversation

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PEN America is thrilled to co-partner with Southerly in presenting “Our East Kentucky Home: A Community Conversation” to discuss media coverage and local issues in Appalachia, in particular, affecting Eastern Kentucky.

Join journalists, local officials, and community leaders as we discuss the impact of coal on Eastern Kentucky’s land and water, as well as quality of life issues such as affordable housing, health care, access to resources, and the future of employment in the region. Local journalists Sydney Boles of the Ohio Valley ReSource; Lyndsey Gilpin, editor of Southerly; and Will Wright of the Lexington Herald-Leader will facilitate this community conversation and do a walk-through of the reporting process pertaining to these topics. This will be followed by a Q&A and a reflection session to collectively workshop ideas for solutions in the region.

This event is free of charge and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. To register, please RSVP on Facebook, and don’t hesitate to email lgil[email protected] with any questions.


Sydney Boles is a reporter with the Ohio Valley ReSource, a network of radio stations in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. Based in Whitesburg, she writes about the economy and the environment. Sydney is originally from New York’s Adirondack mountains and enjoys going on walks with her dog, Opal. You can follow her on Twitter at @sydneyboles.

Lyndsey Gilpin is the founder and editor-in-chief of Southerly, a nonprofit, independent media organization about ecology, justice, and culture in the American South. Born and raised in Louisville Kentucky, she now lives in the coalfields of Eastern Kentucky. Lyndsey has covered climate change, energy, environmental justice all over the U.S., and she is especially passionate about covering the rural South. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, The Daily Beast, CityLab, High Country News, Columbia Journalism Review, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Outside, and more.

Will Wright covers Eastern Kentucky for the Lexington Herald-Leader and lives in Pikeville. He is a fellow with Report for America, a national journalism program that began in Central Appalachia with Wright and two other reporters, who live in West Virginia. He attended the University of Kentucky and has interned with the Sacramento Bee and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.