Our Mission, Values, Commitments & Goals

To empower Appalachian leaders with the tools, experiences, and networks to address local and regional challenges

All people in Central Appalachia have access to both equal opportunity and the leadership skills needed for full and effective participation in community decision-making and public life.

Berea College’s Great Commitments inform our community development approach.

We envision a world shaped by dignity and equality, encourage universal concern for the welfare of others, promote opportunities for serving in community, and support developmental practices that assert the kinship of all people.

Brushy Fork Institute at Berea College logo


Our Contribution to Regional Development
We collaborate with local to federal partners to facilitate community growth and development through strategic investments in people, projects, and place.

We leverage external funding to invest resources for community and economic development at the local level, while strengthening connections and collaboration efforts on a regional scale.

The Institute collaborates with other Berea College entities to achieve the following goals:

  • To increase the number of people sharing leadership responsibility at the campus, community, county, and regional levels;
  • To provide technical and strategic support for inclusive community planning and decision making;
  • To assist communities with creating shared visions for local development;
  • To share practical methods of planning, developing, and rehabilitating communities;
  • To foster development projects that have a regional or multi-county benefit;
  • To develop regional leadership committed to sustainability and intergenerational equity;
  • To strengthen the contributions of other Berea College programs to the development of Central Appalachian leaders and communities.