"Breaking Clean" Tour – July 6

Breaking Clean
A tenth generation Appalachian family.
Four generations of coal mining.
One Goal – A Clean Future.

Date: July 6th, 2015
Time: 6 PM – 8 PM
Location: University Unitarian Church
6556 35th Ave NE, Seattle 98115

Contact: Joannkerr@seanet.com

About the Tour – The Back Story

At first, being a fourth generation coal mining family came with a great deal of pride and heritage: working a dangerous job, carrying on the family tradition, and sacrificing to give our children a better future. All seemed right in the Appalachian coalfields, but life has a way of waking people up to the truth.

Georges Fork – Photo by Nick Mullins

Though we had known not to trust the coal companies, an understanding forged by decades of hard fought struggles by our union forefathers, we had nevertheless been lulled into closing our eyes while the coal industry ravaged our lands. The coal industry had not changed except to increase the amount of damage they were leaving in their wake.

Now the coal industry’s pursuit of profit is damaging the health of entire communities, not just the miners whose lungs were suffocated deep within the coal mines. Cancer rates are rising, drug abuse is killing our youth, and deep poverty grips our region. The sacrifices we were making to give our children a better future was instead destroying it.

Our home can never be healed. The mountain spring that gave us water will produce acidic mine drainage for hundreds of years to come. Without clean sources of water and the forests that sheltered and protected us, Georges Fork is lost to us, and our children.

Today, we are doing what we can to stop similar tragedies from occurring elsewhere.

The Tour

The Breaking Clean Tour is a road trip for our entire family meant to share stories and knowledge, bring together communities, encourage a just transition, and find hope where sometimes little remains.

As a family, we will spend time in each community we visit as we journey across North America, making connections, creating friendships, volunteering, and learning how people are working to help  one another. We will share our story of Appalachian history, coal mining, and our transformation while teaching about the mountain top removal that occurred and continues to occur in our valley. We hope to inspire others as we have been inspired.

Breaking Clean 2015

This year, we are heading to the Pacific Northwest where people are fighting for their communities. Like in Appalachia, people are trapped between coal and economy and the age old “environment vs. jobs” conflict lives on. We’re hoping to shed light on both sides and realize a future where it doesn’t have to be this way. A just transition awaits us all, especially coal miners and their families. We can work together to find a future  that won’t require taking so much from some of the best and most hard working people in this country AND we can give all of our children a chance at a better life.

For more information about the upcoming tour and our past tour go to: http://www.breakingcleantour.org/p/tour-dates_17.html

Please join us.

The Mullins Family