Mountain Justice with Larry Gibson

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

6:00 PM

8:00 PM

Hyde Hall University Room, UNC main campus

Join the Sierra Student Coalition, the Parr Center for Ethics, the Institute for the Environment, CUAB, and the UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18th in the University Room at Hyde Hall for an evening with Larry Gibson. A leading voice in the fight against mountaintop removal and the destruction of the Appalachian Mountains, Mr. Gibson is known around the world for his lifelong fight to save his home and his family's mountain in the heart of coal country. Mr. Gibson will be joined by local West Virginia resident/ activist and U.S. Army veteran Adam Hall. The event will be followed by questions and discussion as well as a small reception where attendees will have a chance to talk with the speakers

The event, highlighting the connection between poverty and environmental issues, is free and open to the public.  Nearby parking available at Wallace Deck at 150 E. Rosemary St., and most parking is free on the UNC campus after 5:00pm. 

Mr. Gibson is most well-known for his lifelong work to protect Kayford Mountain, West Virginia, from the environmental degradation of mountaintop removal. He is an internationally known voice who has been named one of CNN's "Heroes," has appeared on ABC's 20/20, has appeared before the United Nations, and has spoken to thousands of community, church, and university groups across the country.  He has most recently been honored by Ohio Citizen Action, which awarded him the 2010 Enduring Courage Award.

Mr. Gibson's fight to end mountaintop removal and bring justice to the coalfields has deep roots; his family has lived on or near Kayford Mountain since the late 1700s. More than 300 relatives are buried in the cemetery on Kayford Mountain. Larry and his family used to live on the lowest lying part of the mountain, and looked "up" to the mountain peaks that surrounded them. Since 1986, the slow-motion destruction of Kayford Mountain has been continuous -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Eighteen years after the mountaintop removal project began, Larry Gibson now occupies the highest point of land around; he is enveloped by a 12,000 acre pancake in what was previously a mountain range.

Mr. Hall is a U.S. Army veteran who has lived in the Mountain State his entire life. Upon returning home from working up North, he discovered the irreversible and devastating effects of mountaintop removal. Since learning what this destructive coal mining practice has done to his family and neighbors in the past, Hall has dedicated his life to combat surface mining and fights for what he calls "The God-given right to drink clean water."

Hyde Hall is located near East Franklin Street on McCorkle Place, across the quad from Morehead Planetarium.  Specific directions can be found here.
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