AppalachQuinn was born on my 30th birthday in Thomas – Davis, West Virginia. However, the drive behind this project has been birthed from some of the most devastating and unbelievably traumatic circumstances imaginable. Appalachian Culture is one of unique qualities, with a diverse myriad of traditions, lifestyles, and languages to be appreciated. Each person and family unit has their own exclusive way of functioning, communicating, and surviving. Yet, there are some common binding ties within West Virginia’s Appalachian Culture. Domestic violence, addictions, poverty, and education all play a vital role in the cultures mentality – which ultimately dictates a vicious cycle of violence against women, an abundance of which is fueled by one addiction or another. Let’s not be fooled here by the strength behind using the word addiction, especially in relation to violence against women in the Appalachian regions. Addiction is not an excuse nor is it an excuse for the violence. Throughout this social project one will be able to see some of the factors that contribute to violence against women here, as well as how the cultural mindset enforces it. Yes, that is right ladies and gentlemen- you will come to learn that this environment belittles women and blames them for the violence against them! On the other hand, you will also get to see just how strong these women are and their infinite beauty in survival.
Another aspect to the AppalachQuinn Project pertains to gaining knowledge of the family cycles of abuse and addictions that is created and perpetuated. As a former LTS Special Education Teacher in the state of WV, I learned how severe and widespread these issues were for my students. I can honestly say that every single one of my students had been impacted by addictions and or violence in some form. My classroom became a safe haven for these children and that year became one of the most eye opening and influencing experiences of my adult life.
My goal with AppalachQuinn is to raise awareness about the tough issues Appalachian families face. Appalachian standards and norms are often swept under-the-rug. The lack of awareness continues to fertilize the unspoken acceptance regarding addictions and violence in Appalachian areas. I want to empower women to stand up for themselves and be in support of one another in realizing that they are worthy of safety, love, and freedom!
Anyone that has a genuine story they wish to share, please contact me and let’s brainstorm!