2017-18 Tour


How did we get to this point?

After years of hard work, and millions of dollars invested into environmental advocacy campaigns, marches, and protests, something strange happened. The political landscape of the nation shifted once again to support economics over environmental protection. Regulatory agencies meant to protect public health and safety have been overtaken by industry officials yielding dangerous conflicts of interests. Important studies and enforcement initiatives are facing defunding, and even social justice has come under threat. As our country continues to broaden its political divide, many people are left wondering what went wrong?

Appalachia has risen as a microcosm to the nation’s underlying socioeconomic problems, and while there exists a great potential to find truth within the Appalachian experience, there’s a problem. Continued exploitation of Appalachia’s social issues within the national media has left people focusing on the long held stereotypes associated with the region. Without understanding the deeper contexts that shaped Appalachia into what it is today, little hope will be found in better understanding our national divide.

Beginning in October, Nick Mullins, former fifth generation underground coal miner, energy transition advocate, and author of the blog The Thoughtful Coal Miner, will be undertaking a nationwide speaking tour to discuss the economic and political forces that turned one of the nation’s largest labor rights strongholds, into a region of pro-industry attitudes based upon modern conservative values. Through his presentations, Mullins hopes to help audiences understand the issues working-class communities face, while illustrating the need to rethink our communications framework so that we can build stronger relationships both politically and culturally.

Topics will include:

  • Corporate Manipulation of Cultural & Political Values
  • Environmental/Liberal Backlash in Rural Communities
  • The Power of the Jobs vs. Environment Debate
  • Audience-Based Communications Strategies


In addition to presentations and lectures, screenings of the documentary film Blood on the Mountain (www.bloodonthemountain.com) will be offered.*

Dates and Areas

October – November 2017
Mid-Atlantic & Northeast

January – February 2018
Southern US

March – April 2018
West and Mid-West

Upcoming Events

October 12th – 2:00pm| University of Massachusetts – Boston, MA
Lipke Auditorium

October 23rd – 3:00pm | University of Buffalo – Buffalo, NY

October 24th – 11:30am | Daemen College – Amherst, NY
Research and Information Commons | Room 120
Event Page

October 27th – 6:30pm | Virginia Tech – Blacksburg, VA
Haymarket Theatre – Squires Student Center
Event Page

November 9th – 2:00pm | George Washington University – Washington, DC
Media and Public Affairs Building
Event Page

Donations are also being accepted to pay travel and living expenses so that speaking engagements can be offered to groups and venues at reduced rates, or for free where honorariums cannot be obtained.

Contact Form


*Public screening/library licensing fees will apply to postsecondary educational institutions.

**Dates and weeks are subject to change dependent upon the number of requests