A Workbook for Dreaming

  This tool is a guide to understand and develop visions for the future of PLACES in Appalachia under a Green New Deal. The cycle of monoculture industry in Appalachia is enabled through the process of making the land to be “vacant”—that is, seemingly empty to big industry, despite the rich life and relations unfolding with and through it. This process began with the extraction of Indigenous peoples and relationships from Appalachia and continued through the timber industry and fossil fuel industry. Today, seemingly “vacant” mine lands are being “filled up” with prisons, an industry which immiserates incarcerated individuals, their families, and communities as well as the workers and communities that rely on prisons.

    A strategy to break this chain is examining “vacant” land for what it is— full of life, richness, relations, and dreams—and animating it with a different dream than the immiseration industry can propose. To break the cycle, there has to a be VISION of what could be, grounded in life, justice, and thriving, that can compete with the immiseration visions of big industry. This guide walks a facilitator through four processes. First, it helps think through selection of a PLACE, a building or landscape that the participants identify as needing a new future that the Green New Deal can help support. Second, the guide details a Research process of coming to know the PLACE in question. Third, the workbook details a design process, the process of developing a unique, grounded VISION for that particular PLACE. Finally, the guide asks, What is Next? What can we do with a VISION? What can a dream become?

    This is a workbook for activists who want to put a stick in the wheel of industrial control in Appalachia by facilitating dreams of a different future than mines, pipelines, and prisons.

    You can browse the whole book below, download the PDF version here, or just the worksheets here.