Like many urban Appalachians, Scott Goebel went nearly 30 years without realizing his Appalachian heritage. After embracing his urban Appalachian identity, he used this newfound knowledge to inspire his craft, writing both poetry and prose. Goebel continues his work through education and advocacy and plans to return to the classroom this fall at Northern Kentucky University. Read more about his past and current projects in his week's blog post!

Plus, read a raving review on the Red Idle Rejects' newest album, register for a UACC co-sponsored Cincinnati mayoral forum so you can make an informed decision about our city's leadership, and don't forget about our open mic event later this month.


On Wednesday, March 31st from 6:30-8:30 PM, a collaborative of local civic organizations is sponsoring a creative, nonpartisan voter education event that will feature candidates running for Mayor of Cincinnati. The forum will be held virtually and will be open to the public. 

The events of the last year, including the George Floyd demonstrations over the summer and recent discussions about developments and tax abatements at the City level, have kept the issues of racial equity and affordable housing at the forefront of policy discussions within Cincinnati. This forum’s conversation will center around these topics. The sponsoring organizations will determine the questions to be asked of the candidates. 

The following candidates have confirmed their attendance for the evening: 

  • Gavi Begtrup

  • David Mann

  • Aftab Pureval

  • Raffel Prophett

  • Cecil Thomas

Herman Najoli has not yet confirmed.

UACC is a proud co-sponsor of this event. To register, please visit THIS LINK.

Album Review of Red Idle Rejects' Ink and Nicotine
Back in January, UACC published a blog post highlighting the contemporary band, Red Idle Rejects. The Cincinnati-based band recently released their newest album, Ink and Nicotine, which discusses the Appalachian coal industry and the opioid crisis. Check out this album review, as it is stunningly positive and eloquently written. 

Cincinnati Action for Housing Now Petition Update
Get inspired and get organized at our online campaign rally on Thursday, March 11, at 7pm! They have two months to mobilize the community to the polls to pass their Affordable Housing Trust Fund charter amendment, which will create living wage jobs and 500 affordable homes each year. This campaign has been, and continues to be, a community-driven, grassroots effort of People working together to influence change. To learn more, please their website.


Center for Closing the Health Gap COVID-19 Resources
Health Gap, a UACC partner organization, has partnered with the City and County Health Department to help expedite the registration process for the Covid-19 Vaccine. Vaccines are currently available for community members over the age 65 and with a specific set of medical conditions, visit THIS LINK. If you know families that would like to receive the vaccine but have not been able they can sign-up HERE.

COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Info 
For private sector providers, Cincinnati-area residents are being advised in the media to use the website of the Health Collaborative for accurate information on appointments once they reach an eligible category. To do this, click on the "Vaccine Info" link on their website and then scroll down to the “Are You Eligible?” section.
Under “Are You Eligible?” there are large icons with appointment links and phone numbers for thirteen prominent providers, each linked to their vaccination registration portals. Below are links to longer “Vaccination Location” lists from state-run sites for Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. The Indiana link goes directly to its provider list. On the Kentucky page, you click on the Vaccine Provider Enrollment “Register” link to go to a statewide registration portal.
The State of Ohio list is two levels down at the webpage, To sort the list by county, hover over the "County" heading and click the small “A-Z” button that as you hover appears at the right of the heading text. Then scroll down and you’ll see the providers for your county.
The City of Cincinnati Health Department has a vaccine registration portal for city health clinics and facilities at the site If you register at this site, you should expect to be contacted once you become eligible. Those who have signed up before they become eligible are reporting not having received any response at all. When you become eligible and are contacted, you are invited to a pre-screening portal where you can verify your eligibility and make an appointment.
There is a shortage of vaccine doses that will become more dramatic as more demographic groups become eligible. What we are hearing is that each provider opens up appointments only for their available doses. These appointments are quickly taken, and then you won't be able to register for an appointment with that provider. With new deliveries arriving at unpredictable times, a provider might open appointments at any time. Making an appointment may mean making repeated attempts with several providers.
Some of the providers are health care networks where you may be an established patient. If you have an electronic medical record (MyChart), you may be automatically registered and will receive appointment info through the electronic system when you become eligible. The health care network appointment portals are available for anyone to use. If you are not an established patient, the website will explain how to register.
The appointment process may vary with the different providers. They may or may not allow you to register ahead for an appointment date later when you become eligible. Appointment availability may differ with phone vs. website access. If vaccine supplies are scarce, you may spend several hours trying one provider after another. You may get an appointment based on an expected vaccine delivery, and then find the appointment canceled if the delivery hasn’t arrived.
Here are some area websites with information about getting the vaccine and the phases of eligibility through early February.  Recheck websites often as information changes frequently.

UACC’s Michael Maloney became eligible on January 19th and has received the first dose. Here is his story: “I am 80 years old.  I went to the Cincinnati Health Department site and was able to register and get my shot within 2 days.  The registration process was frustrating because it seemed like I had to repeat the same information over and over and my partner had to help.  And then they sent me multiple e-mails with instructions.  At the site, a gym in Corryville, things went very well.  I got the shot in 7 minutes and had to sit on a bench 15 minutes to make sure I was OK.  The shot was painless and I do not even have a sore arm.  Maybe some fatigue the second day.” 
Other stories we are hearing: That some providers are overbooking, and then sending email appointment cancellations when supplies run out. That some are having hour-long waits outdoors. That health care networks are indeed more sophisticated, with waiting lists, alerts when doses are unexpectedly available, etc.
Much has been said about the approximately-95% efficacy of the first group of vaccines. What this number means is that soon after the two-dose vaccine regimen your risk of infection is reduced by 95%. But remember that in the clinical trials, some vaccinated people did get sick, so there is some chance you will also. And it is not known if vaccinated people shed pathogens if they are exposed. Because a vaccinated person still has some risk of getting sick and infecting others, you still need to take precautions such as wearing masks and limiting contacts.
In the period after the first dose, manufacturer data show that your risk of infection is reduced by around 50%. In the first two weeks after your first dose, there is little protection at all. After two weeks the first dose efficacy increases substantially, but manufacturers did not test the long-term efficacy of a single dose. Once you get the second dose, you reach 95% efficacy after about one week.
Remember that when you are in contact with another person, your risk of infection is reduced not just by your vaccination but theirs also, just as by your mask and their mask also. Your vaccination does not mean you can take your mask off, it means if you wear your mask you'll be much safer. We will be free of Covid when enough people reduce their risk (by vaccination and other means) so that the virus can no longer find hosts to spread to.

Free Screening of Coal Black Voices on Zoom
March 12 @ 7 PM

In 2001 Media Working Group (the Media cooperative I co-founded in 1987) released the film Coal Black Voices on Public Television. Coal Black Voices is an intimate mosaic of images, poetry, and storytelling by the Affrilachian Poets as they give glimpses of life in the American Black South and Appalachian region. The ensemble of African-American writers challenge simple notions of an all white Appalachian region and culture while drawing on traditions such as the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, the Beat Poets of San Francisco, and experiences of the African Diaspora. The works of the Affrilachian Poets celebrate their African heritage and rural roots while encompassing themes of racism and Black identity. In this documentary, they give voice to the pleasures of family, land, good food, artistic community, music and transformation.

As part of a 20th Anniversary Celebration for the film the Harstadt Fine Arts Series (HFAS) in Lexington, Kentucky is offering a Free Screening of Coal Black Voices by signing up with HFAS at: <> Upon registering (name and email address) they will send you an email with a link and password to watch the film at a time convenient to you.

On March 12, Co-Director Fred Johnson, from Media Working Group, and Crystal Wilkinson, one of the Affrilachian Poets, will be live on Zoom to discuss the film. Persons who register for the screening will receive a Zoom invitation closer to March 12 with the Zoom link to join the conversation.

Y'all Join In: An Open Mic for Poetry, Music and Stories
Tuesday, March 23 from 7-9 PM

Come perform your art or just listen! The event begins at 7 PM and will end at 9 PM. Featured readers are three African American Appalachian artists enrolled in the Urban Appalachian Coalition’s Cultural Directory:

  • Omope Carter Daboiku: Storyteller and Writer
  • Desirae “The Silent Poet” Hosley: Word Artist and Poet
  • MoPoetry Philips: Author and Spoken Word Artist

Cincinnati’s Poet Laureate Emeritus Pauletta Hansel serves as host.
Performers sign up to perform via Zoom chat upon entering the event. After the featured performers, all are welcome to share a poem, story or song as time allows. Four minute time limit. First come, fist serve. The event is free and open to all, but registration is required. REGISTER HERE!

Over-the-Rhine Museum's Spring Season is Coming! Here's How You Can Get Involved

The Over-the-Rhine Museum's Spring Season is almost here and we need your help! They are seeking volunteers for the following activities:
  • Walking Tour guides
  • Spring Auction Fundraiser donation solicitors
  • Spring Auction Fundraiser pick-up and delivery drivers
  • Oral History interviewers and transcribers
Learn more about events, opportunities, and how you can help at

Pop: with Robert Gipe & Pauletta Hansel
Thursday, April 1 @ 7 PM

Join author Robert Gipe in conversation with Pauletta Hansel about his latest book, Pop: An Illustrated Novel.

Pop is the third and final novel in Robert Gipe’s renowned Canard County series, Pop follows three generations of a family as they reckon with the changing landscape of Appalachia during the Trump era.
Robert Gipe lives and works in Harlan County, Kentucky. Pop is his third Ohio University Press novel. His first, Trampoline, won the 2016 Weatherford Award for Appalachian novel of the year. His second novel, Weedeater, was a Weatherford finalist. For the past thirty years he has worked in arts-based organizing and is the founding coproducer of the Higher Ground community performance series. He has contributed to numerous journals and anthologies, is a playwright, and is currently a script consultant on a forthcoming television show based on Beth Macy’s Dopesick. Gipe spoke at The Mercantile Library as part of the Appalachian Studies Association Conference in April 2018.

Pauletta Hansel’s eighth poetry collection is Friend, epistolary poems written in the early days of the pandemic; others include Coal Town Photograph and Palindrome, winner of the 2017 Weatherford Award for best Appalachian poetry. Her writing has been featured in Oxford American, Rattle, Appalachian Journal, Still: The Journaland New Verse News, among others. Pauletta was Cincinnati’s first Poet Laureate (2016-2018), and is past managing editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the journal of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. Hansel has spoken at The Mercantile Library multiple times, and even volunteered as a bartender.

This program is free and open to the public. Copies of Pop can be ordered online via Joseph-Beth Cincinnati.

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

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