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SOCM: GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY

ETRC partnered with local environmental activists to form an organization that endures to this day. Called Save Our Cumberland Mountains, SOCM’s origin story flowed directly from the work of local leaders with the Coalition students.  J.W. Bradley, coal miner and community leader from Petros, served as its first chairperson.  This 1973 photo from the Campbell County Times documents a gathering of state legislators at coal mines in east Tennessee, responding to environmental concerns raised by SOCM.   Here, a state legislator is inspired to personally test water quality near a mine entrance.  SOCM enjoyed almost immediate success with their challenge to extraction taxation and environmental protection laws.  SOCM survives to this day as a statewide organization devoted to social, economic, and environmental justice in Tennessee.

 

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