2017 WOAP Appalachian Advocate Award winner, Teresa Mills, environmental justice proponent. (Photo provided by Appalachia Resists.)

Open Call For Nominations: WOAP’s ‘Appalachian Advocate Award’

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The Women of Appalachia Project (WOAP), now in its ninth year, invites the public to submit nominees for the “Appalachian Advocate Award.”

According to Kari Gunter-Seymour, founder/curator of WOAP, the award will go to an outstanding Appalachian woman who has dedicated herself to enhancing the wellbeing of Appalachian culture, Appalachian women’s health, Appalachian families or Appalachian land issues. “There are so many women throughout Appalachia who have been vital to its growth and development who have enhanced lives and initiated change. It is so appropriate that WOAP should provide a venue for recognition of these women who often go unsung,” says Gunter-Seymour.

Women residing in any of the 420 counties of Appalachia are eligible for nomination.

Nominators are asked to write a 350-800 word narrative describing how the woman they wish to nominate has impacted Appalachia and may collect up to five additional letters of support. Email a collated WORD or PDF document to

Nominations will be accepted through March 1, 2018. The winner will receive the award on April 21, 2018 during the “Women Speak” Gala in the Ohio University Baker Center Theater and Multicultural Center Art Gallery on the Athens campus. Donations for Serenity Grove Women’s Recovery Housing will be collected at the door during this event.

The 2018 Women of Appalachia Project Appalachian Advocacy Award art will be created, designed and produced by local poet Wendy McVicker and her husband, fine art painter John McVicker.

Many people have an image of an Appalachian woman, and they look down on her. The Women of Appalachia Project encourages participation from women of diverse backgrounds, ages and experiences to come together, to embrace the stereotype, to show the whole woman; beyond the superficial factors that people use to judge her.

The mission of the WOA events is to showcase the way in which female artists respond to the Appalachian region as a source of inspiration, through events which showcase fine art and spoken word, with the intention to inspire and empower female artists and introduce them to communities within and beyond Appalachia.

For event information go to or find WomenofAppalachia on Facebook.