Highlights from 2019

Posted Dec 20, 2019, by Veronica Coptis

Screen Shot 2019-12-29 at 9.02.31 PM.png

As we enter this holiday season, please consider a year-end gift to the Center for Coalfield Justice to support our work in 2020. This past year has been one of continued growth and investment in leadership at the local level, starting with adding two new members to our staff and providing mentorship to four interns from the communities we serve.


Over this past year, we have remained committed to increasing access to information and organizing in the coalfields by hosting over 30 coalfield tours, 10 public meetings on coal permits; and, for the first time we started monitoring water quality in Ryerson Station State Park to ensure post-mining impacts are repaired, a commitment we will continue and expand in 2020.

With our increased staff capacity this year, CCJ has been able to focus on building community and organizing for solutions to the injustices our communities are facing, in addition to responding to impacts from energy extraction and use. We have hosted 8 open house meetings for residents to learn and grow with each other, with over 60 people attending throughout the year. Over 200 people attended the first-ever Solar Festival in the heart of coal country and learned about real energy solutions that would support our local economy. CCJ has been leading a statewide coalition to implement equitable policies around economic and climate justice, and our staff and members have been key pillars in coordinating a strategy to resist the planned petrochemical buildout for the Ohio River Watershed. Probably the most exciting work from this year is how our members have put immense pressure on elected officials to remember they work for them and not their corporate campaign donors.

To see the highlights of our work in 2019, please click here:


All of this is only possible because of support from you, and we need your donations and engagement in 2020 to continue this work and to ensure, in a critical election year, that those in positions of power finally start to put people before profits. Your donation will support our continued growth and outreach in the communities in which we live, work, and recreate. Moving forward, we will work to educate our communities on the risks posed by increasing investment in dirty energy projects, continue to build volunteer teams to address the issues impacting people, and uplift rural voices and experiences into statewide and national movements. Throughout 2020, we will implement voter education and civic engagement programs to ensure rural poor and working class voices and needs are heard in the upcoming elections. Please make a donation today to help us achieve these goals in 2020.



  • Veronica Coptis

    Veronica Coptis joined the CCJ staff in March 2013 as a Community Organizer and is now serving as the Executive Director. She grew up in western Greene County near the Bailey Mine Complex and currently lives in the eastern part of the county. Before joining the CCJ staff, Veronica served on the Board of Directors for CCJ and organized with Mountain Watershed Association. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from West Virginia University. She enjoys hiking and geocaching at Ryerson State Park and other areas around Greene County with her husband and daughters. Read more about Veronica in a New Yorker Magazine profile at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/03/the-future-of-coal-country. Contact Veronica at veronica@centerforcoalfieldjustice.org.

    View all posts
Shopping Cart