Virtual Gathering 2021

This annual meeting is a space for learning and analysis, where members build trust and relationships, expand their connections, develop lasting partnerships, and align their investment strategies to accelerate large scale change across Central Appalachia.


Sessions include but are not limited to:

Equity Keynote by Dr. Akuoma Nwadike-  Wednesday, April 21st 12:00-2:00pm

This session will be led by the Network Equity leader Dr. Nwadike, founder of Inclusivity Education. Dr. Nwadike is a scholar and teacher-practitioner dedicated to Liberation through increasing Inclusivity. Dr. Nwadike uses scholarship, research-based best practices and originally designed frameworks to advocate for, design, implement, and measure Inclusivity development.

This session focuses on scholarly frameworks—always intertwined with Liberation Theory—that, when applied, move us towards more liberatory thinking and living.


New Member Orientation / Network Overview - Monday, April 19th 10:00am - 12:00pm

This session will overview the Network and provide new members a space to network and ask questions. Lindsey Wilson, Thomas Watson, and Steering Committee leadership will walk membership through organizational history, current policies and structures, and ways to get more involved in the Network. There will also be an open space time for Q&A as well as networking.


Investment Roadmap - Tuesday, April 20th 10:00am - 12:00pm

This session will bring together leaders across sectors to discuss the investment opportunities in Central Appalachia as we enter the recovery phase.


CDFI/Bank/Impact Investor Conversation - April 21st 3:00-4:00pm

Over the past few years AFN has attracted several CDFI, bank, and impact investor members. This session will be an interactive conversation focused on how to better integrate those members into AFN as well as ways for CDFI's, banks, and impact investors to better work together.


Group Meetings 

The six issue focused groups (Health, Arts and culture, Downtown Revitalization, Place-based, Energy and Natural Resources, & Food and Agricultural Systems) will meet at various times throughout the week to define the group learning agenda and logistics for the coming year. For a calendar invitation, email [email protected] with the specific group you'd like to join.

  • Food and Agricultural Systems, April 20th 2:00-4:00pm
  • Energy and Natural Resources, April 21st 9:30-11:30am
  • Downtown Revitalization, April 22nd 10:00-12:00am
  • Place-based, April 22nd 2:00-4:00pm
  • Health, April 23rd 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Arts and Culture, April 23rd 1:00-3:00pm


Who should attend?

The Gathering is open to network members and other funders interested in investing and/or grantmaking in the Appalachian region. The Appalachia Funders Network is made up of funders, financial institution representatives, and federal agency personnel who invest in the transition of Central Appalachia. If you are a non-dues-paying member, we encourage you to attend to (1) learn about the powerful work that’s being done in Appalachia (2) strengthen your connections to other funders, (3) better understand how the Network can help further your mission, and (4) connect to innovative initiatives within our issue focused groups.

Additionally, members of the Central Appalachian Network are invited to attend the keynote address from Dr. Akuoma Nwadike. For tickets or more information, email [email protected]