Take a break from the crowded cities and walk among solitude and nature at the Arc of Appalachia 🏞 Located in Southern Ohio, this scenic gem is perhaps the best-kept secret in the area, according to Mike Templeton. Explore over 7000 acres and experience the rich biodiversity this nature preserve has to offer. Breathe in the fresh air - start planning your visit today.

Plus, it's not too late to register for the Cincinnati Festival of Faiths happening this week. Grab a pen and some paper and join in discussions. View our events list at the end of this newsletter for more community events and opportunities like this one.


COVID and Appalachians Update

In 2020, the UACC Research Committee tracked COVID-19 cases and deaths in Cincinnati neighborhoods starting June 1 and ending at the peak of the third wave in December.  We found that the largest concentrations of cases were in the West Side neighborhoods of Westwood, West Price Hill and East Price Hill.  Thousands of Appalachians, Blacks and Hispanics live in this area. We successfully advocated that the number of test sites of the west side be increased.

During the first several months of 2021, cases and deaths declined in Cincinnati and we began to focus on the administration of vaccines.  In June, we collaborated with the Center for Closing the Health Gap to ask Price Hill churches to serve as vaccination sites.  Most said no or did not return our calls.  The churches that did open their doors were disappointed by how few people responded.

Appalachians and Vaccination
In Ohio and Cincinnati, the number of vaccinations increased steadily from January through May.  Ohio achieved a vaccination rate of 46.94% among adults and youth and Cincinnati fully vaccinated 42,957 people over 12.  In Ohio, vaccination rates in most Appalachians counties (and a few other mostly rural counties) ranged from 14.82% in Holmes County to 45.23% in Clermont but most were closer to a 33% rate.  In the nation, ten of the states with the lowest vaccination rates had Appalachian counties.

The Coming Fourth Wave
In Cincinnati, the pattern is similar.  As the Delta variant of the coronavirus surges in states with low vaccination rates, Cincinnati’s Appalachian, Black, and Hispanic areas tend to have the lowest vaccination rates.  Although Blacks make up about 44% of the City’s population they constitute hardly a third of the people vaccinated.  In the three western riverside neighborhoods only 155 people have been vaccinated.  In East Price Hill only 595 out of 18,000 people.  In mostly Black Avondale, only 478 compared to 1,423 in Hyde Park.  In Carthage, a center of Hispanic settlement, only 49 people are fully vaccinated.  Clearly Cincinnati minority neighborhoods will continue to be very much at risk as the Delta variant surges in Cincinnati.  The city, Hamilton County, and the public health community must increase their efforts to get our people vaccinated. UACC will do its part by keeping its network informed about the facts of COVID and what it means for this community.  We welcome our readers’ ideas about the situation we are in and what needs to be done.

The graphs below show the emergence of the fourth wave in Cincinnati.  The transmission rate is 174.71 cases per 100,000 in Cincinnati as of August 13.  As expected, the transmission is highest in areas like Sedamsville and East Price Hill with lowest vaccination rates.  Indoor mask wearing, social distancing and watching for symptoms is recommended for Hamilton County and all surrounding counties because of the high transmission rates here.

Source: Cincinnati Health Department, August, 2021

Source: Cincinnati Health Department, August, 2021
Michael Maloney
August 13, 2021
The latest Blog from Extraordinary Times features Clint Ibele of Northern Kentucky's Falcon Theater

Falcon's outreach wing--Falcon Takes Flight--comes to Miami Hamilton's Parrish Auditorium on September 14 for a performance of Coal Town Photograph, based on the book by Pauletta Hansel (see previous blog interview). 

Link to blog

Carter Bridge practicing a new original song by Michael Henson, “Young Graves”, about the impact of the opioid epidemic. 

Keep Up with John Bealle's Paris Adventures

As you may have heard, John Bealle is living in Paris, France! Click HERE to read his first report from across the pond. Emails and comments are encouraged - simply identify yourself in the comments.

Cincinnati Festival of Faiths
August 22-29

4th Annual Festival of Faiths is Now Open for Registration! This year’s festival is focused around the theme, “Compassion Through Action: We are in it Together," and will deliver a program filled with interfaith prayer, music, spiritual meditations, lunchtime webinars about faith, workshops for teachers and spiritual leaders, a panel discussion for youth, and more. Click Here to view the entire 2021 schedule of programs.

Campbell County Public Library Presents Spotlight Series: “Railsplitter” with Falcon Takes Flight
Thursday, August 26 from 7-8 PM

Lincoln is alive again in “Railsplitter”, a book of poetry written by Maurice Manning who was born near the president’s childhood home in Kentucky. Falcon takes Flight to bring Manning’s words to life, reflecting on how poetry guided and shaped the President’s mind while leading a divided nation.

After the reading, there will be a Q and A will the author.

Registration Required. Register HERE.

Black Book Fair and Open Mic
Friday, September 3, 6-11pm

Hit the Mic Cincy's "Black Book Fair & Open Mic" presented by Regal Rhythms Poetry LLC on Friday, September 3, 2021, from 6-11 p.m @ Oasis at Grace, 5524 Belmont Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45224 was created to welcome and inform all races about the publishing process, and to create an opportunity to support and encourage aspiring authors and published authors within the community, who are black, indigenous, people of color (BIPOC). We have both BK Royston and S.H.E. Publishing LLC from the National Black Bookfair coming to do presentations and be included in our panel discussion for published authors to help others learn the process and obstacles of publishing and encourage more authorship representation. Regular admission is $20 in advance, $25 at the door, or $40 if you are a book vendor. Our vendors will be published authors pitching, promoting, and selling their books. If you are interested in vending (authors only) and/or being part of the panel, please contact MoPoetry @ 513-344-0870. Get your tickets today! Free parking on site, on street, or across the street at the College Hill Recreation Center.

Miami University Appalachian Studies Presents: Coal Town Photograph
Tuesday, September 14 @ 7 PM

"Coal Town Photograph" speaks directly to the urban Appalachian experience of leaving home and returning to find things have forever changed. Based on the book by Pauletta Hansel, this unique presentation blends poetry, music by Raison D’Etre, and theatrical performance by Falcon Takes Flight—an outreach wing of Falcon Theater in Northern Kentucky. "Coal Town Photograph" does not shy away from the contemporary problems that plague both rural and urban Appalachians, capturing the mixed feelings so many Appalachians have toward their homes as we look at the changes we see over time, changes that are simply inevitable, and changes that are genuinely tragic. Following the performance, join writer Pauletta Hansel for a Q&A session. Hansel is author of eight poetry collections, including "Palindrome", winner of the 2017 Weatherford Award for Appalachian Poetry. She is from eastern Kentucky and was Cincinnati’s first poet laureate (2016-2018).

Parrish Auditorium, Miami University Hamilton Campus. Free, public event, part of Citizenship and Democracy Week at Miami Regionals. No reservation required, but rsvp encouraged:

"I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing": Ohio Appalachian Voices
Submission portal open August 1-November 15

A “call for poetry” focused on the unique culture of Ohio's Appalachian population–located in Central Appalachia, with roots steeped in traditional southern ways. A one-of-a-kind collection, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

A copy of the anthology will be sent to all 732 libraries throughout Ohio and to selected Ohio Appalachian school libraries.

Learn more HERE.

Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority

Incentives begin Aug 1-Oct 31 or until funds are expended
Have you heard about the new opportunities available for families in need of housing? Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority has new vouchers and an incentive program for property owners who lease-up with new HCV Participants.

Emergency Housing Vouchers
  • CMHA awarded 246 EHVs to assist families struggling with homelessness or fleeing domestic violence
  • Recipients must meet one of 4 criteria and complete a brief online assessment
  • Click here for full details
New Property Owner Incentive
  • A $2000 payment will be made to owners who provide a home to families leasing through the New Admissions process
  • Incentives begin August 1 and end October 31, 2021 or until funds are expended
  • Click here for full details
Want to learn more? Vsit us at or follow us on Facebook!

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Urban Appalachian Community Coalition · 5829 Wyatt Ave · Cincinnati, OH 45213-2122 · USA

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