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Oral History Project Aims to Capture Coal Stories of the People

Timothy D. Easley
Associated Press file photo

Researchers across different disciplines at Duke University hope to find a sustainable energy system. Part of the initiative is to find out how using more sustainable energy sources like wind or solar will effect the people in traditionally coal dependent communities.

“While we’re thinking about developing solar energy or other renewable sources of energy that we are thinking about,” Duke Professor Jon Free said, “that we’re thinking about the people and the impacts on people’s lives that these changes have had continue to have and will have in the future.”

Jon Free is a professor at Duke University overseeing a project called, “Coal and America; Stories from the Central Appalachian Coalfields.” Free and a group of undergraduate students will be in parts of central Appalachia including southern West Virginia in Spring 2018. Jessica Lilly recently spoke with Free to find out more about the project.

The team has partnered with the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center in Eastern Kentucky and is looking for more people who want to share their story. The group will be in southern West Virginia late May and early June 2018.  If you have a story to share, send an email to coal.america@gmail.com .

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