April Jarocki is the Coordinator for the Southern Connected Communities Project.
April is a single mother of 5 and has been living in the Clearfork Valley for over 10 years. April leads a citizen water monitoring project, working on economic diversification initiatives, planning community events and has been working on the Rural Broadband Campaign since it began. She attended the Southwestern College of Business and studied CNA at the Tennessee Technology Center.
Prior to SCCP, April volunteered with the SEAD task force. Through the work with SEAD April and the former Co Coordinator, Jamie Grieg helped organize, and participated in, a statewide campaign to promote expansion of broadband infrastructure, worked to secure grants from both private and government sources, planned and conducted statewide workshops, presented on community internet ownership, networked with community groups in Tennessee, Detroit, and New York, and helped to establish a wireless internet system at the Highlander Research and Education Center in Jefferson County, Tennessee.
Sustainable and Equitable Agricultural Development Task Force of CEDnet (SEAD)
Our mission is to increase sustainable and equitable agricultural development and promote healthy connections of environment and community-based enterprises.
The SEAD Task Force works in coalition to develop and establish, not only sustainable, but practical, long term, land-based economic projects with rural East Tennessee organizations. Recognizing that each local community’s needs are different, the work of SEAD members is based on participatory environment-led initiatives in support of community member
The Highlander Research and Education Center
The Highlander Center is a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement building in Appalachia and the South. It works with people fighting for justice, equality and sustainability, supporting their efforts to take collective action to shape their own destiny.
The Clearfork Community Institute
CCI is a place-based, action research and education center located in a historic coal mining community in East Tennessee. We offer public space and provide programs for residents to facilitate our ability to take control of our everyday lives by addressing root causes of systemic challenges of poverty and environmental degradation. We build community involvement and grassroots momentum with an intergenerational and cross-class approach to direct actions that leads to positive changes for our community and environment. We work to build community wealth which includes access to clean air, water and land as well as diverse, socially and environmentally responsible economic opportunity for our community.
Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee (CWEET)
CWEET works for the benefit of all living things by honoring the basic ecological concept that all life is interconnected. We encourage healthy, thriving Appalachian communities by educating ourselves, the public, and our leaders about responsibility for the earth and its people. We do this by advocating for and creating solutions to ensure clean water and environments, flourishing local economies, participation in politics, and positive social and individual growth. Our work is based on the values of empowerment, self-determination, respect, compassion, and ultimately, love.