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The Center for Resilient Communities invites its community of practice to the table of collaborative action. The purpose of our Collaborative Action Labs is to address the most challenging problems in West Virginia and beyond by connecting community leaders, scholars and students through action research and cooperative experiments.


Food Justice Lab

The FJL is an experimental space for research and action focused on challenging food system inequalities. Our action research connects anti-hunger activists, farmers, community development organizations, and civil society to fight food insecurities.

About the FJL


Food System Development Lab

The FSDL serves as a catalyst to promote food system change by training leaders, launching enterprises and implementing food and agriculture projects with our community partners, particularly in coalfield communities.                                                                                          

About the FSDL


Environmental Justice Lab

The EJL is focused on wielding action partnerships to promote environmental justice initiatives. Our action research connects advocates, public health professionals and policy advocacy groups to understand the environmental crisis. 

About the EJL


Community Economies Lab

The CEL draws on action research approaches to incubate the development of cooperative and community-centered enterprises. There are diverse economic experiments currently underway which seek to transform community life.

About the CEL

By making new connections, pursuing new lines of inquiry and action, and finding shared strategies, we can change systems and institutions that hold us back. Collaborative action may take the form of campaigns, research, projects or policies within existing organizations, coalitions and networks.In other cases, it may take the form of establishing new community organizations or social enterprises led by participants. The Center currently supports more than 15 community organizations through five collaborative action labs focused on food justice, health equity, food system development and community economies. Each year, the Center for Resilient Communities will help provide backbone support to these collaborative initiatives and more by providing research, funding, planning, facilitation, training and other forms of accompaniment support to groups involved.


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WV FOODLINK is a resource hub and learning commons to democratize knowledge about the food system and support people centered, resilient community food security networks in WV.

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Nourishing Networks

Nourishing Networks is an education program designed to unlock the potential of collaborative healthy food access policy initiatives that address food disparities and inequities at the county and municipal scale.

Nourishing Networks
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Food For All is a multi-stakeholder food policy coalition that nurtures grassroots efforts to advance local, state and federal level policies that reduce household food insecurity while advancing food sovereignty and the Right to Food in West Virginia. 

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Global Solidarity Alliance

GSA is an international coalition engaged in challenging charitable food networks to advocate for adequate food and nutrition as a fundamental human right.

Global Solidarity Alliance
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Voices of Hunger

Voices of Hunger WV is a group of people with lived experience of food insecurity dedicated to amplifying the stories and experience of West Virginians struggling through the silent violence of hunger.

Voices of Hunger
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Listening Project

This Listening Project is a platform for meaningful conversations where we can share our stories, empower one another, and communicate our hopes to create change and transformation in our state of West Virginia

Listening Project
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Waterlink aims to democratize water resources management, governance, and equity by including citizen and communities in the decision-making   around water security and climate change adaptation.

Water Link
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Environmental Justice Atlas

The Environmental Justice Atlas is a platform that highlights case studies of resilience and environmental injustices across West Virginia. The EJ Atlas democratizes access to information that communities can work with to develop their resilience plans for climate action, water security, food security, health care access, and building more sustainable communities.

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Climate Link

ClimateLink is an online atlas, tool, and educational resource that provides educators, communities, and decision makers with data, maps, visualizations that explore the effects of changing air temperature and precipitation on West Virginia.

Climate Link
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Take Back Our Health

TBOH is a partnership of health advocates driven by our vision of a healthier West Virginia. We understand that achieving this vision depends upon changing policies, systems and environments in ways that address health disparities and improve our quality of life.

Take Back Our Health
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Growing Capacity

A collective of agri-business support organizations, non-profits, and cooperatives across Central Appalachia advancing food sovereignty and regional food system resilience. The lab is coalescing partner to increase production capacity and agriculture workforce training. 

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A regional food-hub aggregating and selling products from 100+ farmers across West Virginia.  The lab is a founding partner supporting the operational and strategic development of Turnrow since 2018.

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Regional Food GIS

A GIS program and application(s) that supports Regional Food System Planning across Central Appalachia; developing web-based logistics and distribution tools, spatial datasets of production and demand, and a production planning tool to coordinate production and sales.

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Blue Acre

Built on former mine land, Blue Acre Appalachian Aquaponics Center utilizes a proven, state-of-the-art aquaponics system to produce high quality lettuce and tilapia, distributing these products to consumers throughout Mingo County and beyond. 

Blue Acre
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Firsthand partner with farmers, local businesses and community organizations to support a solidarity economy. We leverage profits from the sale of our unique FIRSTHAND  Coffee brand to invest in social enterprise, cooperatives and other small businesses, and to support educational programming around our core principles.

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Arts-based Development

The Arts-based Development project documents and reveals the creative placemaking efforts of RiffRaff Arts Collective and other community members in the Mercer St. community of Princeton, West Virginia. Arts-based Development leverages on creativity to revitalize community and transformative changes.

Arts-Based Development
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Migration & Social Integration

The research on migration and social integration seeks to centralize the experiences and perspectives of those who have immigrated to rural West Virginia, and to better understand whether efforts of integration are in line with the building of resilient communities.

Migration & Social Integration

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