SPEECH TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONS
Coal, Climate, and Environmental Backlash: The Political Repercussions of Environmental Activism in Appalachia’s Coalfields
After years of hard work, and millions of dollars invested in environmental advocacy campaigns, marches, and protests, something strange happened. The political landscape of the nation shifted once again to support economics over environmental protection. All the ground that had been gained in climate change legislation and environmental protection is being lost and even social justice initiatives have come under attack. As our country continues to broaden its political and cultural divide, many people are left wondering, “What went wrong?”
Appalachia has risen as a microcosm of the nation’s underlying socioeconomic problems, and while there exists a great potential to find truth within the Appalachian experience, there’s a problem. Continued exploitation of Appalachia’s social issues within the national media has left people focusing on the long-held stereotypes associated with the region. Without understanding the deeper contexts that shaped Appalachia into what it is today, little hope will be found in better understanding our national divide.
Using my experiences, I’ve set to the task of explaining the economic and political forces that turned one of the nation’s largest labor rights strongholds, into a region of pro-industry attitudes based upon conservative values. Through my presentations, I hope to help audiences understand the issues working-class communities face while illustrating the need to rethink the communications framework of environmental activism and build stronger relationships with people from all walks of life.
- Corporate Manipulation of Cultural & Political Values
- Environmental/Liberal Backlash in Rural Communities
- The Power of the Jobs vs. Environment Debate
- Audience-Based Communications Strategies
- Finding our individual place in a just transition
In addition to presentations and lectures, screenings of the documentary film Blood on the Mountain (www.bloodonthemountain.com) will be offered.
SUBMIT AN INQUIRY
- Mullins wrote an article for Explore Parts Unknown titled “Coal Mining’s Dark Past” and was recently featured in Anthony Bourdain’s Field Notes on West Virginia
- “The 100-year capitalist experiment that keeps Appalachia poor, sick, and stuck on coal” – Quartz
- Mullins is a contributor for the Huffington Post
- He published a piece in The Washington Post that focused on the correlation of substance abuse and coal mining
- “Two US coal miners, two very different perspectives on the future of coal” – Public Radio International (PRI)
- He was recently a guest on Dirk Moore’s show Together To Get There to discuss Southwest Virginia’s economic development