Reporting on Appalachian Kentucky

Bill Estep

Moderator: Dr. Chris Green, Director, Appalachian Center & Assoc. Professor of Appalachian Studies

Bill Estep has reported on Appalachian Kentucky since 1985 for the Lexington Herald-Leader. While the coal industry has withered and substance abuse worsened, the region has also improved its schools and stepped up efforts to diversify and rebuild the economy. Estep will share lessons learned from 38 years of covering Appalachian Kentucky, as well as the joys and difficulties of reporting about this region where he grew up and lives. The region has too often been subjected to assumptions and stereotypes that distort understanding of Appalachia and its people. One job Estep and the paper undertake is to provide insight into the region and its people for a local, state, and national audience. That has become more challenging in an era of deep political and cultural division and erosion of traditional media. Newspapers remain a vital source of information for our society, covering issues and stories that most other media outlets don’t. They have to find a way to continue that mission as Appalachia feels its way forward.

Women of Appalachia

In response to the COVID-19 situation, all spring 2020 semester convocations have been canceled. Please see the COVID-19 planning page for more information.

Women Speak

The Women of Appalachia Project has, for the past 10 years, been empowering female Appalachian writers and spoken word artists of all levels. In their uncompromising mix of socio-political perspectives the artists take stereotypes and ill-conceived impressions head on: they layer them in language, speak them, print them, and frame them behind glass. Rowdy, raw, and honest, their work makes no apologies. Co-sponsored with Loyal Jones Appalachian Center.

Dr. Melissa Zook

From Good Girl to Street Doc: Mistakes, Misguided Adventures and Light Bulb Moments

Family physician Dr. Zook practices cradle-to-grave medicine in London, KY and provides care for persons living with HIV, hepatitis and substance use disorders. Her path to becoming a 21st century country doctor wasn’t exactly what she imagined when she graduated from a college much like Berea. She will discuss how mistakes along the way have strengthened her and continue to form the person she has become.