Avram is the Executive Director and one of the founders of the Canary
Coalition, a Clean Air advocacy organization originated in western
North Carolina in the year 2000. The Canary Coalition now has more than
eleven-hundred-fifty organizational, business and individual members in
23 states in the Greater Appalachian region.
Since the mid-nineteen sixties Avram has been a community and political
activist for social and environmental causes.
He helped form the anti-nuclear movement in Oregon. While living in
Oregon he coordinated the petition drive in Portland to place a referendum
on the ballot that prohibited the further construction of nuclear plants
in that state. This ballot measure became the first anti-nuclear measure
to pass in the country.
In 1986, after moving to Western North Carolina, Avram founded
Citizens for a Choice on Nuclear Waste that initiated a petition drive for
a referendum on a DOE proposed high-level nuclear waste dump in western
North Carolina. Through the lobbying efforts of this organization the
referendum was placed on the ballot statewide and 93% voted against the
location of the nuclear waste facility in North Carolina.
The Canary Coalition was one of the grassroots organizations
responsible for introducing and promoting the NC Clean Smokestacks Act
that was passed by the NC General Assembly in 2003. It is currently
taking the lead in advocating for The Energy Futures Resolution in the
Paul Gallimore is an educator, author, consultant, and planner
in renewable energy, environmental design, permaculture, appropriate
technology, and recycling/resource recovery.
He is the Founder and Executive Director of Long Branch Environmental
Education Center, Leicester, NC, 1974 - present, and the Coordinator of
the Environmental Resource Assessment Service. The Center strives to
encourage conservation of all natural resources, including air quality,
water quality, soil, and all biological diversity; to educate the public
about strategies relating to ecological literacy, natural resource
conservation, renewable energy, community self-reliance, appropriate
technologies, and practices of sustainability; to design and demonstrate
sustainable systems; to advocate for conservation of all natural resources
and biological systems; to engage in research programs in conservation
biology, renewable energy, community self-reliance, appropriate
technologies, sustainable systems, and to practice ecological restoration;
and to encourage sustainability as a measure of every human endeavor.
He has served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Renewable
Resources, Solar Lobby, National Recycling Coalition, Southern
Unity Network for Renewable Energy Projects (SUNREP), North Carolina
Coalition for Renewable Energy Resources (NCCRER), North Carolina
Solar Energy Association, Carolina Recycling Association, Carolina Farm
Stewardship Association and many other groups in the Southern Appalachian
Bioregion. He has taught at Southwestern Community College, Sylva, NC,
Blanton's Junior College, Asheville, NC, and the University of North
One of the early projects that actively captured his attention and
physical involvement was People's Park in Berkeley, CA in 1969, one of
the first grassroots' attempts to create and reclaim urban greenspace
in North America. The inspiration for People's Park was that the human
community could actively pursue peaceful, imaginative and creative ways
to rediscover and physically restore the underlying harmony between
humans and all other living beings. This inspiration continues to
circulate through his ongoing efforts to promote the message of CEDARS
- Conservation, Education, Design, Demonstration, Advocacy, Research,
Restoration, and Sustainability.
His book, co-authored with Al Fritsch, Healing Appalachia: Sustainable
Living Through Appropriate Technology will be published by the University
Press of Kentucky in May 2007.
Gracia O'Neill is the Assistant Director at Clean Water for NC,
a statewide environmental justice non-profit based with offices in
Asheville and Durham. CWFNC promotes empowered communities and safe,
accessible water for all North Carolinians through organizing, education,
advocacy and technical assistance.
Since 1984, we have partnered with rural and low income communities,
as well as communities of color, to increase grassroots participation
in environmental justice. Over the past 22 years, Clean Water for North
Carolina has assisted dozens of communities with organizing, strategy
development and power analysis, and technical support as they face a
wide range of water, toxics and other environmental justice issues. Our
staff provides information and referrals to over 150 requests each year
and work in statewide coalition with groups working on water and air
quality, precautionary approaches and environmental justice.
To learn more about our work and volunteer opportunities, visit our
website at www.cwfnc.org or call
our Asheville office at (828) 251-1291.