Phoebe Sampson

Junction City, Perry County, Ohio

Photo: Lexi Browning

I am working on the holistic betterment of the Appalachian region through grassroots activism and community mobilization. My areas of focus at the moment are harm reduction, rural homelessness, environmental threats, intersectional feminism, ethical food systems, and re-entry for those incarcerated. I have two years experience in the Community Services division at my local Community Action agency, with a passion project of incorporating agriculture into workforce development during my time there. I am involved with various organizations on both a local and regional level regarding a wide array of subjects, from poverty to preservation of public lands.

What Phoebe hopes to learn through the AAN:

I am hoping to gather stories from other members of the AAN to truly feel connected with other change makers in geographically isolated region. 

What she’d like to see happen during the first 100 days of the next presidential administration:

I am hoping the brakes be applied on this speeding bullet to systemic collapse. I am hoping elected officials be held accountable for their abuse of power, on both a national and local level. I am hoping that white supremacy is not met with such public enthusiasm when it surfaces as “All Lives Matter” or more blatant rhetoric. I am hoping Appalachia is not held fully accountable if the 45th administration is re-elected, as the racist hillbilly caricature will be denounced but allow the educated affluent racists go about their business, unscathed. I do not claim to have the answers for the issues I’ve barely dipped into here, but I refuse to be complacent without providing some pushback to the oppressive system that keeps marginalized communities under it’s thumb, with the full acknowledgement that activism is a privilege and is a privilege I will fully utilize for as long as I am able to.

Phoebe’s advice for journalists who want to cover Appalachia:

To expect the unexpected. Appalachia is not easily reduced to just “one thing,” it is a blending of different identities and interesting intersections between cultures. There is a level of authenticity that you will not find elsewhere that makes for the most captivating stories. I ask of you to come here without preconceived notions and allow yourself to be surprised.

Reach out to Phoebe through this form: