Hello to all the friends of CAG! I’m excited to be joining an organization that I’ve partnered with many times over the years, and whose work is so important.
My background is in community organizing. I got my start as a volunteer, then as an election organizer, at Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, before moving to WV to work with WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition (now Our Future WV). I spent eight years as the Southern Regional Organizer, working with community members, partner organizations, and local leaders across the southern third of the state. Recently I served several months as interim director for OFWV. We fought to end child poverty in WV and advocated for a wide range of social, economic, racial, and environmental justice issues. I experienced the privilege of watching regular people find their voices, tell their stories, question elected officials, gain skills, and become advocates for change. I got the opportunity to pay forward the support that organizers gave me when I needed it most.
Last year I stepped away from that work to start living a life-long dream. My husband, Bill Price, and I bought a worn-out homestead near Rock Cave in Upshur Co. The pastures are overgrown and the 100-year-old cabin is crooked and drafty, but it’s ours. Now that the house is fixed up (enough to live in, anyway), I’m building garden beds, adding critters, and making plans to go off-grid. Leaving the East End of Charleston and the southern coalfields was bittersweet, but the kids can visit (we have six adult children and four grandchildren between us); the chickens, dog, and cat are free to roam; and the long, winding path we took to get here makes it all the more satisfying.
I missed being part of the work, though, so I jumped at Gary’s offer to join CAG part-time. It’s the best of both worlds – make good trouble and build a chicken coop on the same day! With the spread of the ‘big lie’ and threats to voting rights, I’ll spend a lot of time working with Julie on protecting our democracy. And I hope to bolster CAG’s work on just economic transition and environmental issues. Whatever CAG needs, I’ll do my best to provide.
Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 304-747-8805. I’d especially love to hear from folks who live in this part of the state so I can get to know my new community!
Peace, love, and solidarity,
Carey Jo Grace