In Conversation

The challenges that the Appalachian region faces aren’t just Appalachian problems; they’re American problems. Those problems include addiction, poor health outcomes and the need for communities to make a transition from fossil fuel extraction, and they will largely determine whether we, as a nation, can meet challenges of inequality, climate change and economic recovery. Far from being a backwater, Appalachia is a bellwether for the country.

This week is the debut of Louisville Public Media’s very first book, “Appalachian Fall,” written by Jeff Young, Managing Editor of the Ohio Valley ReSource collaboration, and the rest of that reporting team. The book is a collection of the reporting this team has done on the future of Appalachia — from the Blackjewel coal miners blocking the train tracks in Harlan County to people on the front lines of the opioid crisis and others fighting for a just economic transition for coal country.

Kirkus Reviews says the book is: “Blunt, essential reading on today’s Appalachia that is less elegiac and more forward-thinking than most.”

Join us this Friday at 11 a.m. on 89.3 WFPL as we talk to Jeff Young, and reporters Brittany Patterson, who covers energy and environment, and Sydney Boles, who covers economic transition in Appalachia.

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There’s a lot going on in Louisville, and WFPL’s “In Conversation” with Rick Howlett gives people a platform to talk — both to each other, and with the larger community — about the biggest issues facing our city, state and region. Live at 11 a.m. every Friday on 89.3 WFPL. Call 502-814-TALK to join the conversation.

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Michelle Tyrene Johnson is the Associate Producer for WFPL's "In Conversation" talk show and hosts the podcast "Race Unwrapped."