The Health Working Group commissioned Ohio University to compose a summary of the resources, geographic reach, and funding priorities of three of the Appalachia Funders Network's working groups: the Food Systems Working Group; the Health Working Group; and the Strengthening Community Capacity Working Group.Read more
Michelle Foster and Becky Ceperley, President and former President of The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, represented the Appalachia Funders Network on a national stage by attending the Council on Foundations' annual conference. The Council on Foundations released the following video highlighting their annual conference and pre-conference, which was focused this year on rural philanthropy.
"The latest report by the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio (CDF-Ohio), “Ohio’s Appalachian Children at a Crossroads: A Roadmap for Action,” finds some positive change, but overall paints a picture of stark contrast in the well-being of the Appalachian children compared to those in the rest of the state and much of the nation. Many health problems actually have worsened or newly emerged since the first report in 2001, and the percentage of children living in poverty in the region has increased."Read more
How did you get involved with the Appalachia Funders Network?
blue moon fund was an early partner of AFN. As my role at bmf expanded to include our domestic portfolio, I was excited to participate at the Gathering and sharing between the working groups. Having previously lived in Webster County, WV I was excited to reconnect and expand my professional network to include leaders and innovators from across the region.Read more
What first sparked your interest in philanthropy and specifically in the field of environmental grantmaking?
My interest in environmental grantmaking and specifically, in being a program officer, was first sparked in my second year at Stanford Law School. At a lunch event, I heard a Hewlett Foundation program officer talk about his work, which I found to be incredibly appealing. After working in the nonprofit sector, federal government, state government, and the United Nations on a wide range of environmental issues, my dream of working in philanthropy finally came true when I joined the New York Community Trust in January 2014. I never thought that I could find a position that brought together all of my environmental policy interests, but serving as The Trust’s environmental program officer does exactly that. I love being able to think so deeply and strategically about so many issues, and to learn from the brilliant people working in these areas. My passion for protecting the environment was instilled in me by my Puerto Rican grandfather. As a biologist working for the Federal Government, he introduced me to the wonders of the natural world whenever I visited the island. He taught me how fragile and precious these wonders were, and how important it was to conserve these natural resources for future generations.Read more