Union College, The Facing Project release book on addiction; Union to host round table

Published on
August 25, 2014

Union College will officially release the book “Facing Addiction in Knox County: It’s Our Move,” in partnership with The Facing Project, at a book launch and reception on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 4 p.m. in the Sharp Academic Center.

Prior to the reception, there will be a round table discussion regarding the drug addiction problem in southeast Kentucky. Scheduled to participate in the round table are Senator Mitch McConnell, Congressman Hal Rogers, Union College President Marcia Hawkins as well as a number of others including representatives from Operation UNITE.

The round table will begin at 2:45 p.m. and will also take place in the Sharp Academic Center.

The community is invited to attend both events.

The Facing Project is a nationally recognized platform that helps communities face critical issues by raising awareness and urging a call to action. The book will raise community support for teen education.

The high rate of drug abuse and addiction in southeastern Kentucky has been well documented and highly publicized. By collaborating on this book project, Union hopes to help break the dangerous cycle of addiction in Appalachia. Following a model established by The Facing Project, Union connected writers with individuals who have been affected by addiction in the Barbourville/Knox County area to produce a collection of personal narratives.

Union College contributors included: Marcia Hawkins, Union College President; Jodi Carroll, Director of Counseling; David Johns, Vice President, Academic Affairs and Dean of the College; Monica Clouse, Coordinator, President’s Office Operations and Events (project manager); Missy Reid (editor and photographer); Denise Hoover (photographer); Denise Wainscott; and Gabrielle Kelly (designer). Local writers were: Shane Confer, Victoria Englehart, Sarah Hendrix, Melinda Hornback, Mary Jenkins, Adam Prokopchak, Missy Reid and Sarah Wilder.

“Union College has a responsibility to champion solutions to challenges facing our community, and the Facing Project is a valuable instrument in this important work,” said Hawkins. “Because our mission directs us to promote the health of our Appalachian region, we are passionate about raising awareness about both addiction and paths to recovery from it.”

Books are available in the Union College campus store for a suggested $5 dollar donation. Union College also encourages members of the community to sponsor a local student to attend Camp UNITE, a summer program designed to empower youth to build a healthier future for Knox County. The camp is part of Operation UNITE, a nonprofit organization combatting substance abuse in Kentucky.

To RSVP for the events, for more information or to obtain a copy of the book, call (606) 546-1625.

About Union College:
Located in Barbourville and founded in 1879, Union College is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is recognized as an important part of southeastern Kentucky’s rich history and impressive landscape. Home of the Bulldogs, Union is a private, liberal arts institution comprising undergraduate and graduate programs, plus a new school of nursing and online learning opportunities. The liberal arts experience is enhanced at Union because of the college’s strong commitment to personal attention for its nearly 1,200 students — both in and out of the classroom. For more information, visit www.unionky.edu.

About Operation UNITE and Camp UNITE
The acronym UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education) reflects a three-pronged, comprehensive approach to combat substance abuse in Kentucky. Operation UNITE was launched in April 2003 by U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers in response to a special report, “Prescription for Pain,” published by the Lexington Herald-Leader in January and February 2003. This series of articles exposed the addiction and corruption associated with drug abuse in southern and eastern Kentucky, which largely included Rogers’ Fifth Congressional District. Camp UNITE was founded in 2007 as a one-week summer program held on the University of the Cumberlands campus in Williamsburg, Ky. Since its inception, the camp has hosted 1,325 youth from 31 counties. Activities are designed to develop leadership and communication skills, promote teamwork and problem solving, instill confidence and trust, and let youth know they do not have to face difficult situations on their own. For more information, visit http://operationunite.org.

About The Facing Project:
The Facing Project was founded in 2011 by activists J.R. Jamison and Kelsey Timmerman to connect people through stories and strengthen communities. The organization provides tools, a platform and inspiration to allow communities to share the stories of citizens through local writers, artists and actors. The first Facing Project was launched in Muncie, Ind., in the winter of 2011-2012, under the title, “Facing Poverty.” Since then, The Facing Project has launched book projects in Atlanta on sex trafficking; Fort Wayne, Ind., on homelessness; Rome, Ga., on poverty; South Bend, Ind., on youth; and a second project in Muncie about autism. For more, visit http://facingproject.com.