Mission of Just Connections is to invigorate grassroots democracy among
residents of distressed mountain communities by creating and using models
for participatory research and service in support of self-sustaining communities
that offer equitable access to resources for local citizens.
Just Connections defines participatory research as a process which places
researchers and apprentices at the service of communities seeking help
with the exploration of local assets, needs, and opportunities, as well
as with the planning, enaction, and evaluation of development programs.
This research model admits that the core knowledge about a situation resides
in the community itself, and thus community members are the most qualified
to bring meaning to the application of research skills. We believe that
participatory research entails an equal partnership between campus and
To Get Involved
you want to know how you, your community, or your school can get involved
Just Connections, contact:
Membership Coordinator, Just Connections
on lightbulb for membership information and application
article that describes how Just Connections was formed, click
brief summary description about Just Connections, click
more information regarding the Founding Partners, click
For more information regarding the Founding Community Partners, click
Susan Ambler (President)
-- Maryville College, TN
Marie Cirillo (Vice President) -- Clearfork Community Institute, TN
Robert Donnan -- Big Creek People in Action, WV
Robin Fife (Secretary) -- Tusculum College, TN
Richard Garcia -- Grassroots Empowerment Alliance of Rome,
Janice Morrissey -- Grassroots Empowerment Alliance of Rome,
Billy Newton (Treasurer) -- Maryville College, TN
Lewis, of Morganton, Georgia, is considered by many to be the progenitor
of Appalachian Studies. Her interdisciplinary course in Appalachian Studies
at Clinch Valley College in the fall of 1969 and her subsequent research,
writing and teaching has inspired a proliferation of Appalachian Studies
programs throughout the region.
Helen Lewis, Appalachian Studies has meant much more than a sterile academic
pursuit. It has meant helping Appalachians study the social and economic
forces that influence their lives and seek creative ways to gain control
over these forces. She developed this approach in her work at the Highlander
Research and Education Center and through numerous participatory research
projects with Appalachian community leaders.
An organization of independent liberal arts colleges which fosters cooperation
and collaboration among its institutions for the mutual benefit of the
member colleges and service to the people of Appalachia.
CORELLA & BERTRAM F. BONNER FOUNDATION
One of the nation's largest privately-funded service scholarship programs
and a philanthropic leader in the anti-hunger movement.
W. MELLON FOUNDATION
The purpose of the Foundation is to "aid and promote such religious,
charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes as may be in
the furtherance of the public welfare or tend to promote the well-doing
or well-being of mankind."
"Established to support projects that focus on understanding
and finding solutions to a broad array of social problems. Its primary
purpose is to support research and social
action projects that build knowledge, strengthen organizations and meet
changing needs of communities. The Foundation is especially interested
supporting projects initiated by citizens living and working in communities
most deeply affected by social problems."
Copyright © 2008 Just
Last updated: 9 June 2010 Kathie