Most Inspiring of the Month
Julia or “Judy” Bonds was a pioneer in leading the struggle against mountaintop removal – a practice all too familiar in the Appalachian Mountain area. As this grandmother became more aware of the dangers that mountaintop removal brought to her neighbors and family, such as poisoned water and dying fish, she fought against the practice. This fight did not come without a web of obstacles though. She soon partnered with a non-profit called Coal River Mountain Watch but was in turn shunned by some of her neighbors. At one point she even received threatening phone calls. This did not stop her advocate work though and through it all she eventually won the 2003 Goldman Environmental Prize. Sadly Judy Bonds passed away from cancer this past January. Although she died at the young age of 58, her inspiration to others and passion for the Appalachian Mountains will live on.