AMY GOLDSTEIN– Award-winning Washington Post reporter Amy Goldstein has been a staff writer at The Washington Post for 30 years. She currently covers health care policy, focusing on the Affordable Care Act and the Trump administration’s approach to the U.S. health-care system. Over the years, she has covered the White House and written widely about social policy issues, including Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security, welfare, housing, and the strains placed on the social safety net by the Great Recession.

She was one of a team of Washington Post reporters awarded the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for the newspaper’s coverage of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and the government’s response to them. She was also a 2009 Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting for an investigative series she co-wrote on the medical treatment of immigrants detained by the federal government.

CAROLYN ZELIKOW-  Associate Director of National Programs, The Aspen Institute; Founder of the Hometown Summit, TomTom Founders Festival and BRAD STEPHENS- Director of the CoLab; Lead Planner of CityWorks (X)po in Roanoke, VA.

AMY BROOKS– the Program Director and Dramaturg for Roadside Theater; a part of Appalshop of Whitesburg, Kentucky.


FRANCESCO MANCA Deputy Director (ret.) for the Political and Civil Affairs office of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL )

MAHIR ZEYNALOV– Turkish journalist and analyst based in Washington, D.C

JEANETTE ABI-NADER -Founding Member, Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative; Executive Director, City Schoolyard Garden and KIM NIEWOLNY -Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Leadership and Community Education, Virginia Tech

RAMON ZEPEDA  Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) program director

ANTHONY FLACCAVENTO – Organic farmer, innovator and sustainable development pioneer from Abingdon, Virginia

ETHAN KENT – Senior vice president of the nonprofit Project for Public Spaces

RICK CAVEY – Former US Navy Diver, now owner and operator an organic vegetable farm in Southwest Virginia


DUST IN THE BOTTOMLAND – Composer Nate May and bass vocalist Andrew Robert Munn combine contemporary opera and passions for environmental and economic justice in Appalachia

PATRICIA PARERA – Economic and Social Development Consultant for The World Bank

ELIZABETH STREB – Artistic Director, STREB Extreme Action Company


TRACY KUNKLER – Principal at Social Profit Strategies

LISA JO EPSTEIN – Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Gas & Electric Arts

LIZ LERMAN – Creator and Director of Healing Wars

TAY KEONG TAN – Fellow at the Institute for Policy and Governance at Virginia Tech

FRANCESCO MANCA – Deputy Director (ret.) for the Political and Civil Affairs office of UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon)


JOHN FERGUSON – Executive Director of American Voices


BEN KNAPP – Director of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) and Professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech

PENNY FRANKLIN – local and national union leader and civil rights activist from Christiansburg, VA

BOND STREET THEATRE – Joanna Sherman (Artistic Director) and Michael McGuigan (Managing Director) of the Bond Street Theatre in New York, NY

FRANK DUKES – Director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation (IEN) at the University of Virginia


JACK HINSHELWOOD – Executive Director of The Crooked Road

THENMOZHI SOUNDARARAJAN – Digital Storyteller, writer, director and singer

KATHIE DENOBRIGA & MELANIE HAMMET – Mayor & Mayor Pro Tem of Pine Lake, Georgia

PAM MCMICHAEL – Director, Highlander Research and Education Center

JOHN DREYZEHNER, MD, MPH – State Health Commissioner, Tennessee

TAL STANLEY – Director, Appalachian Center for Community Service, Emory & Henry College


CRAIG T. RAMEY, PHD – Distinguished Research Scholar, Human Development, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

AVILA KILMURRAY – Director, Community Foundation of Northern Ireland

BOB SUMMERS – Founder, TechPad; Entrepreneurial Evangelist

WOODY CRENSHAW – Founding President, SustainFloyd

BRIAN WHEELER – Executive Director, Charlottesville Tomorrow

NORMA WOOD – Western Region Independent Living Consultant with Project LIFE

NANCY AGEE – President & CEO, Carilion Clinic


BETH OBENSHAIN – Founder, New River Land Trust

DUDLEY COCKE – Artistic Director, Roadside Theater

ANTHONY FLACCAVENTO – Founding CEO, Appalachian Sustainable Development; Candidate for Virginia 9th Congressional District