I explained below on what we are going to do with our project "Williamson Forward" - read the details below:
Williamson, Mingo County, West Virginia: A small town based on the Kentucky/West Virginia border in the heart of Appalachia. With a rich cultural and historical heritage; this area, made famous for being home to the Hatfields of the Hatfield and McCoy Feud, was a key part of the rise of America as an industrial superpower via the vast natural resources in the area. Located here is a diverse population of hard workers, unique individuals, and social entrepreneurs who are grinding daily to improve the lives of those in their community and leave a new legacy for future generations. Beyond natural resources and history, Williamson is surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery and nature-integrated tourism the east coast has to offer.
Unfortunately in recent history, your average local in Williamson might not share this view or have heard about the great things happening in their backyard. People who know of Williamson, many times don’t know some of the best parts of the area, and many Americans and those traveling have heard of the trails or history, but don’t specifically know of Williamson’s existence.
"Williamson Forward" will change this.
The negative narrative right now surrounding Appalachia, Southern West Virginia, and Coal Country is unavoidable. Politics, the News, and Pop Culture have helped form a divide between certain groups of people and in this negative narrative, bad headlines and undesirable news dominate the spotlight. Williamson Forward is here to show the people of Williamson the amazing things happening in their backyard. The pill mills of downtown Williamson are gone, and in their place are World Class Health Clinics, Farmer’s Markets, Cross Fit Gyms, 1,000+ attendee comic/game conferences, marathons and experts from around the world, visiting this amazing place to see all the innovation being born in Coal Country. The list goes on, and as time goes on, the list grows. Sadly, many people don’t even know the list exists.
We view the critical issue of shifting this narrative to this: If electricity or steel have any part of something you appreciate today, that is thanks to Coal. Coal’s time may be coming to an end, but it can and should be more of the passing of a baton. The areas that are around thanks to coal deserve appreciation as West Virginians literally put their lives on the line to provide for their families while the coal they produced went on to power lights where your favorite books and movies were created and steel was forged, making the automobiles and skyscrapers of today possible. Now as the world is changing, Williamson is working to change with it, and Williamson Forward will shift the narrative to one of hope and anticipation because we don’t fear change...change is our hope, an opportunity for this area. We invite others to come with us on Williamson Forward and share your ideas, experience, and time as we pass the baton from a coal-centric economy to a multifaceted community that is working to build a sustainable ecosystem of business, nature, and health in an area full of potential and possibilities.
Doubt is contagious, so is hope.