We Come from a place where

Margo Miller, Co-Chair of the Appalachia Funders Network Steering Committee crafted the below poem from the presentations and tweets at the Gathering. She read it at the closing of our learning day, Wednesday April 15, 2015.

We Come from a place where
The fog from the mountains look like crushed velvet
a place of natural beauty and a rich culture

We Come from a place
of place-based folks and organizations
a place with a long history of independence,
America’s First Frontier
where we are protected by the shelter of the timeless Appalachian mountains

We are a group of people who
are grantmakers big and small and practitioners
who want to work together for the economic transition of the region
this is our table, the place where we work together.

We are a group of people who are
creating for our region
empowering people to make a difference

We are a group of people who are willing to take down barriers…and by taking them down we are saying everyone can contribute

We dream of and work at building our community’s capacity
And ask questions like
Why should a baby born in our region be more likely to live a shorter life?
How do we maintain and retain our intellectual capital?
Will we work together so our region is as healthy as it is beautiful?
Can you accelerate a small communities capacity by helping them build a community plan?
How do we trust each other to not have to compete?
What kind of capacity do we need to assist our policy people reform outdated programs?

When we dream together about building our community’s capaciy
We say things like
Collaborative leadership promotes vibrant local communities and enhanced quality of life.
We can find answers. They have to be nontraditional answers.
It’s so important to develop and empower the right leaders in the right place at the right time
Partners and promising sectors are critical.
Economic Transition: It won’t make a bit of difference if we don’t create communities that have the capacity to use the capital successfully.

in this moment
with urgency

Talking…Talking deeper about
Innovative Leadership
Talking
Next Generation Leadership
Talking
Building Local Economies
Talking
Energy Sector Transition
Talking
Strategies for Philanthropy

in this moment
with urgency

We are listening
listening hard
listening
to the needs of the communities we serve
We are stepping up our game.

in this moment
with urgency

We are
Building, building
trust

We are trusting
trusting as we work together

We are thriving
as we build and trust the work we are doing together for local and sustainable
communities

in this moment
with urgency

We Come from a place where
The fog from the mountains look like crushed velvet
a place of natural beauty and a rich culture
of place-based folks and organizations

We Come from a Place where
If we work together,
in this moment
with urgency
we will see the economic transition here in the Central Appalachian Region.

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