Discussion Guide

Facilitating Conversations and Empowering Communities


This guide is intended for use by educators and citizens who want to use the award-winning film, OVERBURDEN, to host screenings and critical discussions around environmental and economic justice issues. 

This 17-page guide offers resources, discussion prompts and instructions to facilitate discussions and empower action in communities. 

Table of Contents:

03  Letter from the Filmmaker
04  Meet the Characters
05  About the Film
05  Discussion Guide Overview
06  How to Host a Screening
08  Potential Partners
09  Tips for a Successful Screening
10  About the Issues
12  Discussion Warm-Up
13  General Discussion Questions
14  Environmental and Economic Justice Questions
15  Culture and Identity Questions
17  Taking Action


Discussion Guide Overview

This discussion guide is a resource for those who want to use the film to engage with their communities around environmental and economic justice issues. The hope of this guide is to help you facilitate a constructive dialogue and to offer guidance on hosting screenings, facilitating conversations, posing dynamic prompts, and engaging audiences in your own community. Although the specific environmental and political issues addressed in OVERBURDEN are unique to that community, the themes are quite universal and can apply to any community – especially those poised to defend their communities against environmental injustices.



This guide invites you to:

  • Understand the scope of destruction caused by energy extraction industries.
  • Challenge stereotypes and misconceptions of the Appalachia region.
  • Recognize environmental injustice in your own community.
  • Discuss ways to organize in your community as you explore solutions together.