Fighting for Justice in the Coalfields


Mimi Pickering, Board Chairperson, is an award-winning filmmaker and director of Appalshop’s Community Media Initiative (CMI). Her documentaries focus on injustice and inequity, often feature women as principle storytellers and explore the efforts of grassroots people to address community problems that frequently reflect global issues. Pickering is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and two Kentucky Arts Council Artist Fellowships. Her film, The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man, was selected by the Librarian of Congress for inclusion in the National Film Registry in 2005.

John Rosenberg  is the founder of ACLC and served a president of the board of directors from 2002-2014. He has practiced law for more than 40 years.  Starting at the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division during the Civil Rights    movement, John later moved to Eastern Kentucky to work with low-income people in Appalachia who might not have access to quality legal representation. John founded the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, Inc. (Appalred), in 1971, and retired as its director 30 years later. John graduated from Duke University and the law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Jill Fraley is Assistant Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law.  Dr. Fraley is a legal historian who focuses her research on property and environmental issues. She practiced law for more than six years, working primarily in toxic torts and premises liability. She currently teaches property, environmental law, law & geography and legal history. Her recent writings focus on the legal history of Appalachia, property, cartography and the development of territorial jurisdiction.  Dr. Fraley received her J.D. from Duke University School of Law, her LL.M. from Yale Law School, and J.S.D. from Yale Law School.

Jerry Hardt is Communications Director for the grassroots organizing group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. He has worked with KFTC for 30 years in various roles, including balancing the scales editor, media coordinator and occasional financial manager. He lives in Louisville, KY.

Amanda Moore is a staff attorney-legal editor at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. She previously worked at Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center representing clients on coal mining issues. She also teaches legal writing and research at Middle Tennessee State University. Amanda began her legal career clerking at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit for then-Chief Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr.  Amanda received her J.D. from Yale Law School and graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. from Western Kentucky University. She lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Hugh O’Donnell has practiced law on behalf of low income people since 1973, and has spent the last thirty years practicing in Central Appalachia. A native of Atlanta, GA, he is a graduate of Yale and Emory Law School and is a Vietnam veteran.  His specialty areas include unemployment compensation and child protection cases.

Stanley Sturgill is a retired coal miner. In addition to his 41 years as a miner, Sturgill also served as Federal Coal Mine Inspector and MSHA Special Investigator.  He is a resident of Harlan County and is active as an advocate and lobbyist around issues effecting his community, including mountaintop removal, mine safety and health, and community development.

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