May 10: Central Appalachian Women’s Climate Justice Tribunal

Charleston, WV hosted the Central Appalachian Women’s Climate Justice Tribunal--the first to take place in the US--Thursday, May 10 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Charleston Woman’s Club (1600 Virginia St. East, Charleston, WVA).

Women  throughout Central Appalachia — from southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia and eastern Tennessee — impacted by mountaintop removal and other mining abuses will raise their voices, exposing the impacts of mountaintop removal on their lives, their families and their communities. I posted live from my twitter feed. If you weren't able to attend there is a recording of the tribunal online thanks to the Loretto Community.

The tribunal will present its findings at the Rio+20 at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil this June. Similar tribunals have taken place around the world, spearheaded by the Feminist Task Force. These tribunals have been used to create a public space for women to draw attention to critical issues at local, national and global levels.

The Jurists were:
  • Elizabeth Peredo, climate justice expert from Bolivia
  • Lois Gibbs, of Love Canal fame and Executive Director of chej.org, and
  • Grant Smith, Energy Policy Advisor at the Civil Society Institute.
Funders, co-sponsors and participants include: Appalachian Community Fund, Appalachian Voices, Coal River Mountain Watch, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, Keepers of the Mountain, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, Sierra Club, SouthWings, The Alliance for Appalachia, The CLEAN, West Virginia Free, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy.  The principal  organizers are OVEC (Huntington, WV).,  The Loretto Community at the United Nations and The Feminist Task Force of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty.