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Network Voices

Rich in culture: Jess Mullins Fullen on intersectional community organizing in Southern Appalachia

Faith and Money Network Trips of Perspective have taken members to countries and communities with vibrant cultures, including Haiti, India, and Bosnia. In recent years, the network has focused on domestic trips, visiting Wise County, Virginia originally in 2011 and since taking groups to experience Southern Appalachia nearly a dozen times.  Ahead of our fall 2023 trip to visit our friends with the Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS), we spoke to Jess Mullins Fullen, lead organizer (and sole SAMS staffer). Jess likes to say she was “born, bred, and cornbread-fed in [the] hills and hollers” of Southern Appalachia. She grew up in coal camp housing in Jenkins, Kentucky, as the descendant of coal miners and homesteaders stretching back over generations.  Jess is a mother of […]

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