Tanya Turner grew up in Bell County, Kentucky. She is 24 years old and comes from a long line of coal miners, haulers, and union men and women. Her dad worked for Kentucky Utilities and her mom raised her and her sisters as a single mom.
"I have multiple reasons to be here. I came inititally to support people I work with and organize with in Harlan County. But also as a young woman who has been a part of this movement for a few years, I want to live in Eastern Kentucky and raise a family here and homestead like my great grandmother did. If strip mining is allowed to happen many more years, I'm afraid that won't be possible. You can't live off the land and provide for yourself with tainted, toxic water.
"I think it's pretty important that this group represent a large age group and show the multiple generations of energy in the movement. I know that there are plenty of Eastern Kentuckians who want more for the place they identify with, and I think they are all here in spirit with me. We have a lot to learn from the older generation in terms of energy and knowledge and power in order to move this forward in order to see a victory."