Kelley Burd-Huss is a West Virginia-raised and educated writer and attorney. She grew up in Harrison County, W.Va., the daughter of a public school teacher and a natural gas field manager. She graduated with three BAs from West Virginia University, and currently spends her time researching and writing about how Christianity informs our engagement in the political process and in caring for one another. She lives with her husband, two small children, and three large dogs in Houston, Texas.

Posts By This Author

Dismantling Mountain Myths

by Kelley Burd-Huss 07-02-2018
What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia, by Elizabeth Catte. Belt Publishing.

ELIZABETH CATTE'S What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia is the vindication every Appalachian has been craving in the wake of the media’s seemingly endless examination of so-called “Trump Country.” For any native Appalachian like me, reading this slim volume is at once a breath of fresh air and the blueprint you always wished for to respond when someone snidely expresses surprise that you have all your teeth and a good pair of shoes.

Catte divides her book into three sections. First, she provides an overview of why Appalachia is more diverse and less monolithically conservative than the media has portrayed. Second, Catte offers a direct refute to the Trump Country literary genre. The author concludes her work with a powerful description of her Appalachian home’s core values, contrasting Appalachians’ longstanding commitments to social justice and cohesive community against outsiders’ efforts to both “save” the region’s people and extract its resources without just compensation or stewardship.

Catte frankly describes her mission in writing this book as providing “critical commentary about who benefits from the omission of [diverse Appalachian] voices ... and openly celebrat[ing] the lives, actions, and legacies of those ignored in popular commentary about Appalachia.”

The Christian Principles Apparent in Historic West Virginia Teacher Strike

by Kelley Burd-Huss 03-02-2018

Image courtesy

In this environment, it has been easy to overlook what in any normal week would be a top story. Since Feb. 22, West Virginia public school teachers and employees have been forcing the state's 55 county boards of education to shut down, citing inadequate pay and climbing health insurance costs. That is every teacher, every public school, in the entire state. Though a strike of this scale is extraordinary, it is not without precedent. In 1990, West Virginia teachers in 47 counties stopped work and earned an across-the-board $5,000 pay increase for teachers throughout the state.

Mass Shootings Are a Mammon Problem

by Kelley Burd-Huss 02-15-2018

Tyra Hemans, a 19-year-old senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, sobs as she holds signs honoring slain teachers and friends in Parkland, Fla. Feb. 15, 2018. REUTERS/Zachary Fagenson

The National Rifle Association, the conversation leader in our country's debate on gun violence, is an organization founded and operated as a trade association for the firearms industry. In short? Their chief reason for existence is to sell more guns and gun accessories. And the money reflects this reality.