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ABOUT

JUST CONNECTIONS

Mission Statement

The 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 community.


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How To Get Involved

If you want to know how you, your community, or your school can get involved in
Just Connections, contact:

Robin Fife
Membership Coordinator, Just Connections
Phone: 423.636.7372
email: rfife@tusculum.edu


 

click on lightbulb for membership information and application





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History

An article that describes how Just Connections was formed, click here.

A brief summary description about Just Connections, click here.

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Founding Partners

Susan AmblerMaryville College
Marie CirilloClearfork Institute
Steve FisherEmory & Henry College
George LovelandFerrum College
Guy Larry OsborneCarson-Newman College
Franki Patton RutherfordBig Creek People In Action
Kathie ShibaMaryville College
Deborah ThompsonUniversity of Kentucky

Additional Partners

Joyce Doughty Tusculum College
Robin FifeTusculum College
Robert Gipe -- Southeast Community College
Janice Morrissey -- Grassroots Empowerment Alliance of Rome
Roy Silver -- Southeast Community College
Marsha Timpson -- Big Creek People in Action

For more information regarding the Founding Partners, click here.
For more information regarding the Founding Community Partners, click here.


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Board of Directors


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, GA

Janice Morrissey -- Grassroots Empowerment Alliance of Rome, GA
Billy Newton (Treasurer) -- Maryville College, TN


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Consultant

Helen L. Lewis

Helen 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.

For 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.

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Supporters

APPALACHIAN COLLEGE ASSOCIATION
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.

THE 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.

ANDREW 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."

THE SOCIOLOGICAL INITIATIVES FOUNDATION
"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 the
changing needs of communities. The Foundation is especially interested in
supporting projects initiated by citizens living and working in communities
most deeply affected by social problems."

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Copyright © 2008 Just Connections
Last updated: 9 June 2010 Kathie Shiba