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Charleston, WV: Appalachian Culture, Coal Mining, and Poverty

The Charleston, WV trip offers participating students the opportunity to engage in hands-on service work with impoverished members of the Charleston community. Working primarily with the Covenant House, students work on projects that offer direct service to homeless and working poor adults.

Additionally, students learn about the underlying causes behind the poverty under which some Charleston residents suffer. Particular emphasis will be placed on learning about the area's rich and complex coal mining history. Students will hear from local experts with varying opinions on questions such as: What are the benefits of coal mining? What are the environmental costs of mining? What are the ethical questions surrounding labor and environmental issues related to coal mining? Students will need to be prepared to hear competing viewpoints, to have their assumptions challenged, and to learn about an area of the United States with unique and important cultural heritage.

Questions or comments? Please contact Jenny Davidson, Coordinator of Student Service Learning, at jdavidson@wlu.edu or 540-458-4669.

Maximum Number of Participants: 15