Working for a more just and sustainable Appalachia.
The Central Appalachian Network (CAN)’s mission is to develop and deploy economic strategies that build wealth in local communities, conserve natural and cultural resources, and empower marginalized communities. We work in collaboration across sectors, partnering with other non-profits, community groups, funders, educational institutions, local government, and private business. CAN actively pursues economic transition in Central Appalachian communities through a variety of economic sectors and market-based strategies, and currently focuses on:
How We Work
CAN is a network of networks, anchored by a Steering Committee of 7 non-profit organizations. CAN’s sector-focused networks coordinate regional analysis and strategies in areas like Food & Ag, Clean Energy, and Creative Placemaking. Our network of practitioner partners includes over 50 different organizations working on community economic development, including non-profits, local government agencies, lenders, community groups, social enterprises, and academic institutions. CAN’s roles include supporting peer-to-peer learning, collaborative strategies, organizational capacity-building, cross-sector partnership, demonstration projects, in-person convening, and field-building research & publications.
Events & Happenings
There is a lot happening across our region every day! To help share, promote, and keep track of all the activities CAN partners are involved in, use this shared calendar to share information about your upcoming events and learn about other happenings.
Stories & Resources
A Seat at the Table is a series of community dinners that bring people together to share meals and lives. Previous dinners have centered on topics such as economic development, LGBTQ history and rights, and cultural diversity. This series of four dinners will focus on communities that have often been marginalized in Perry County, and will include oral histories and heritage cooking classes. We held our first event on May 1st, with a tamale making class, and 2nd, with a community dinner.Read MoreIn Creative Placemaking, Guest Post
In November of 2018 the Central Appalachian Network held its first Regional Peer-to-Peer Convening at Tamarack in Beckley, West Virginia. Approximately 115 people attended the event, including economic development practitioners, community change makers, funders, and sector experts working in the Central Appalachian region. Discussions were focused on individual sectors and topics, and on cross-cutting issues affecting the equitable transition of the Central Appalachian region. The three concurrent session tracks focused on the three topics of CAN’s working groups: Food and Agriculture Systems, Clean Energy, and Creative Placemaking.Read MoreIn Clean Energy, Creative Placemaking, Food systems, Stories