Dana Kuhnline is ReImagine Appalachia’s Campaign Director

ReImagine Appalachia’s 2022 Strategy Summit: Wrap Up

By Dana Kuhnline

We are fit to bursting with excitement coming out of our two day virtual summit we just hosted. The summit included 12 incredible conversations, with over 300 registrants. We’re so thankful to our presenters, facilitators, notetakers, all the people who provided feedback during the planning process, and to our organizers. Now it’s time to get to work! Reach out to us to connect and learn how your group can get more involved. 

If you missed the summit, or are looking for some of the resources that were shared during the summit, we’ll be compiling those in this blog. 

The summit opened with a panel titled “Building Appalachia’s Bright Future: What’s next with new opportunities from federal funding?” We heard from experts in economic development, labor, climate and conservation, and racial and equity work about the opportunities – and the challenges – our region will see in 2022.  Below is a list of our panelists with links so you can learn more about their work (and links to their powerpoints, if applicable). A recording of the panel can be found here.

Speakers included:

We also hosted a series of breakout sessions. We’re still working on compiling notes from these sessions, but we’ll update this blog when those are available. Sessions for January 11th included: 

  • Securing community and labor standards in new federal spending
  • Mapping federal resources and making them accessible for local communities
  • Electrifying public transportation and manufacturing electric vehicles
  • Reviving the Civilian Conservation Corps and creating second-chance opportunities for workers
  • ReImagining Our States: State-Level Advocacy Strategy Session

The second day of the summit opened up with a panel titled: “Starting Local: What are lessons from local leaders that can build towards regional excellence?” We were joined by an incredible group of local electeds and changemakers who shared their priorities for 2022 for local work and regional collaboration. A recording of the panel can be found here.

Speakers included: 

  • Moderator: Patricia DeMarco, Vice President of the Forest Hills Borough Council (Website
  • Brittany Reno, Mayor, Sharpsburg, PA (Twitter)
  • Tito Brown, Mayor, Youngstown, OH (Twitter)
  • Rosemary Ketchum, Councilmember, Wheeling, WV (Twitter)
  • Rev. Marcia Dinkins, BLAC Representative and Executive Director, Ohio Interfaith Power & Light (Twitter)
  • Rob Dorans, Chief Legal Counsel, Building Trades in Ohio (Affiliated Construction Trades) and Councilmember, Columbus, OH (Twitter)

We also hosted a series of breakout sessions. We’re still working on compiling notes from these sessions, but we’ll update this blog when those are available. Sessions for January 12th included: 

  • Ensuring good union jobs for working Appalachians
  • Building a Local Government Network
  • Racial Justice and Community Standards in new federal spending 
  • Growing Clean and Efficient Manufacturing in Appalachia 
  • Faith Roundtable: Empowering communities of Faith to serve as conveners of cross-stakeholder partnerships and help bring federal funds into rural communities.