Tom Wagner pays tribute to the life and work of educator and civil rights leader, Virginia Coffey, in this week's blog post. Mrs. Coffey was a leader in this community and a major advocate for Appalachians. Learn more about her life and legacy in the blog post below.

Plus, a COVID-19 update and survey from our Research Committee, lots of upcoming events and opportunities, and more!

October COVID-19 Data Update from Mike Maloney
Click HERE to view the full report.

The data presented in this report need to be considered in the location of testing sites and in the allocation of outreach, contact tracing, and education resources.  The neighborhoods listed in Table 4 should be top priority.  Second priority should be the low socio-economic status areas (SES I) listed in the socioeconomic status map (Figure 2 from The Social Areas of Cincinnati, Fifth Edition (  This will include, for example, impoverished sections of the West End, Lower Price Hill, Sedamsville, the Mill Creek Valley and the near east side along Reading Road and Montgomery Road.  Some of these neighborhoods, though their numbers are small, show up in Table 5 with very high percent increases in confirmed cases:

Sayler Park                     5400%
South Fairmount             1500%
Villages at Roll Hill          967%
Millvale                            900%

As testing becomes more widespread, we can perhaps expect the highest percent increases will continue to be in this category of neighborhoods.


A Message from the UACC Research Committee Regarding a COVID-19 Survey
UACC is currently partnering with the Appalachian Translational Research Network to conduct a study related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you will find the IRB-approved letter along with links for taking the survey (very bottom).  Please consider participating in the survey as well as sharing it with your networks, especially in spaces where Appalachian and Urban Appalachian voices exist. Our goal is to collect survey responses from 100 participants.

Take part in a research project called “The COVID-19 Pandemic: The Path Forward in Appalachia”. We are trying to gain a better understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 on members of the Urban Appalachian community in the Greater Cincinnati Region. 
The project is led by Dr. Kelly Brunst, Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati, in collaboration with the Appalachian Translational Research Network (ATRN) and the Urban Appalachian Community Coalition (UACC). She is a member of the ATRN, UACC Research Committee, and Community Engagement and Outreach Core of the University of Cincinnati Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST) which is supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health.
The project team wants to capture a variety of diverse perspectives, representative of the Greater Cincinnati community. We are asking you to help us by answering a brief, but thorough survey. We will ask you some general demographic information and how COVID-19 has impacted you on various levels. We are also interested in learning about your knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to COVID-19.
Your participation in this project is voluntary, and you must be at least 18 years of age to participate. The survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes. There are no right or wrong answers to any of the questions and your responses will remain completely anonymous. You are also not required to give a reason for refusing to participate in the survey. Ultimately, the responses from you and other participants—including residents from other states in Appalachia—will be combined and then analyzed to look for common themes. An electronic copy of our findings will be made available to the public. Below is a list (with links) of resources you might find beneficial:
Thank you for your interest in participating in this research project. Your input will help us better understand your perspective on the health of your community and important issues surrounding COVID-19.
When you are ready, the survey can be opened in your web browser by clicking the link below:
If the link above does not work, try copying the link below into your web browser:
Should you have any questions about this letter or the research project, please feel free to contact the project team ( or Ashley Hopkins ( 
University of Cincinnati’s Institutional Review Board's acknowledgment of this project is on file. UC IRB Protocol # 2020-0735.
Threats to Our Drinking Water by Women's City Club of Cincinnati
November 17 @ 6:30-8:15 PM

Mary Aguillera of the Buckeye Environmental Network and the Ohio Poor People's Campaign and Shelly Corbin of the Ohio Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign will discuss the several major threats to the health of Ohio’s residents from polluted drinking water. They include radioactive oil and gas waste, brine spreading, the barging of radioactive oil and gas waste, wastewater injection wells, and the Appalachian Petrochemical Hub. The last consists of 25 petrochemical processing factories proposed for the Ohio River Valley.

Some alarming facts about these threats –

The Safe Drinking Water Act will not protect us from many of the cancer-causing toxins petrochemical industries released into waterways.

These factories are part of the industry's goal to increase global plastic production by 40 percent by 2030, another profoundly serious threat to our environment.

These projects will also contribute to the region’s reliance on fracking, which produces ethane, the feedstock for plastic. Fracking pollutes our air and groundwater, accelerating the impacts of climate change.

Join them to find out more about these impacts on drinking water, the issues of environmental justice they raise, and ways that we can alleviate these threats.

Funding Opportunities for Cincinnati Artists


Cincinnati Arts Access Fund
a City of Cincinnati/ArtsWave COVID-19 artist relief program

ArtsWave is administering the Cincinnati Arts Access Fund (CAAF), which was established in October 2020 with funding allocated by the City of Cincinnati through the CARES Act for pandemic-related, arts-worker relief. Grants of $1,000 for an expected 200 individual artists who live in the city of Cincinnati will be distributed in two rounds, with all funds distributed before the end of 2020. Grant awards will be based on clear demonstration of lost work and financial hardship due to the coronavirus and are contingent on available funds. Awards will reflect the broadest possible range of diversity based on the application pool.

More details and the application form are available on ArtsWave’s website. The two deadlines to apply for CAAF are November 20 and December 4.

"Truth & Reconciliation" Project Grants for Black and Brown Artists
funded by City of Cincinnati, ArtsWave and Duke Energy

ArtsWave, City of Cincinnati and Duke Energy announce $200,000 to be awarded through a new joint grantmaking program for Black and Brown artists. Artists of any artistic discipline are invited to propose projects on the theme of "truth and reconciliation" that help lead the community toward a more just and equitable future. Eligible artists can apply for up to $10,000.

Funding from the City of Cincinnati will help support the visions of eight or more city-based artists, chosen through a competitive application process. Duke Energy's funds will expand the program around the larger Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region. ArtsWave will match both investments with additional grant dollars and commissions. We anticipate this will result in a total of 20-25 projects. 

More details and the application form are available on ArtsWave’s website. The deadline to apply for "Truth and Reconciliation" is Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Funding decisions will be announced prior to December 31, 2020. 

Additional application questions may be directed to Krista Bondi, Grant Programs Manager, at

Don't Cry for Us, J.D. Vance: A Virtual Reading by Ohio Appalachian Authors
December 3 @ &:00-8:30 PM

Co-Sponsored by The Urban Appalachian Community Coalition and West Virginia University Press

Free; advance registration required. Click here to register.

The Appalachia depicted in J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is not one we recognize, and the societal issues Vance pins on the failings of individuals and families are neither their creation nor theirs alone to solve. With Ron Howard’s film adaptation of the bestselling book poised to bring this damaging portrayal of a region and its people to an even wider audience, we invite you to join us instead for a reading from some of Ohio’s most respected Appalachian authors and advocates. Short readings will be followed by a conversation about the strengths and challenges of Appalachian communities, both urban and rural.

Featured Readers:

Omope Carter Daboiku’s writing focuses on the intersectionality of place, identity, and belonging and the experience of growing up a “mixed-race colored child” on the Appalachian landscape.
Kari Gunter-Seymour, author of A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen is Poet Laureate of Ohio and the 2020 Ohio Poet of the Year.
Richard Hague’s 20 volumes of poetry and prose include Studied Days: Poems Early and Late in Appalachia. Awards include Appalachian Writers Association Poetry Book of the Year and the Weatherford Award.

Pauletta Hansel was Cincinnati’s first Poet Laureate. Her poetry collections include Coal Town Photograph and Palindrome, 2017 Weatherford Award winner for Appalachian Poetry.
Michael Henson is author of four books of fiction and four poetry collections, most recently Maggie Boylan, a 2018 Great Group Reads Selection.
Michael Maloney is an Appalachian activist and a scholar whose long career has included founding the Cincinnati Urban Appalachian Council and its successor, the Urban Appalachian Community Coalition.
Dale Marie Prenatt is a poet and storyteller with work in the anthology Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy.
Bonnie Proudfoot has published both fiction and poetry, and lives in Athens, Ohio. Her first novel, Goshen Road, is a 2020 Great Group Reads selection.

Sherry Cook Stanforth is director of Thomas More University’s Creative Writing Vision Program, editor of Riparian, and author of Drone String.


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

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