Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hillbilly Elegy's Vance says he will return to his native Ohio to start nonprofit for upward mobility

J.D. Vance (Photo by Greg
Lynch, the Journal-News)
J.D. Vance, whose 2016 memoir Hillbilly Elegy explored the problems of the Appalachian-rooted working class of the Rust Belt, is returning to his native Ohio "to try to do something to make things better," reports Dan Sewell of The Associated Press.

His book "drew extra attention because of Vance's insights into" a key part of Donald Trump's base and made Vance "a popular TV discussion show guest," Sewell notes. "The Yale-educated Silicon Valley investor now wants to do more than talk about the issues." Vance told him, "I just think those of us who think we have something to offer have a responsibility to try to help."

Vance "is forming a nonprofit called Our Ohio Renewal and will relocate with his wife from San Francisco to either Cincinnati or Columbus, where he earned his undergraduate degree at Ohio State University," Sewell reports. "He has spoken at Ohio State and Miami University, near Middletown, in recent weeks and has other speaking engagements lined up that he said will help him learn more." He spoke at the Kentucky Book Fair in November and has received other invitations from that state.

Sewell writes, "Among the issues he wants to target are the needs for more upward mobility opportunities for families in the lower end of the economy, what he calls rebuilding 'the broken pipeline to the middle class,' and the opioid epidemic that has hit his home state particularly hard," as well as Kentucky.

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