Curricula Development

Multi-Platform Curricula to Engage a Variety of Communities and Classrooms


The OVERBURDEN team worked to create a film that (1) humanizes important issues that affect not only Appalachia but other disenfranchised regions in the U.S., (2) creates a conversation about corporate responsibility and economic justice, and (3) focuses our attention on the “othering” of the Appalachian people enabling the region to become a sacrifice zone of resource extraction. 

A prevalent conflict in the film is the coal industry’s destruction of the land through the mining process called mountaintop removal coal mining. Although this is an important issue, with more than a million acres of land destroyed since 2000 and the general consensus in the industry being that this is an acceptable “cost of doing business,” these curricula will not delve too deeply into this specific environmental issue alone. Instead the intent of these curricula is to explore the forces that cause the mindsets that allow this kind of destruction and ultimately the economic oppression that exists in Appalachia. To that end we will be exploring three major themes: Appalachia identity, environmental justice, and privilege. By exploring these themes we hope to evade the typical environment versus industry debates and uncover not only the “why?” behind issues affecting Appalachia but also some new ideas on how to avoid replicating the same mistakes in other communities around the country.

Below you will find three curriculum options:  

  • 3-hour workshop: Environmental Justice
  • 1-day workshop: Privilege 
  • 2-day workshop: Privilege, Corporate Power and Economic Justice