top of page

harmony in the hills

International Youth Program for Practice of Peace
Clay County, KY

"I truly loved this experience and it has changed my life in multiple ways. I am so grateful for Harmony In the Hills!"

                                                        - Anonymous youth participant

Harmony in the Hills is a youth driven intergenerational Story Bridge program that took place in Clay County, KY . From June 23 to July 1, 2017, approximately 40 people of all ages participated in the week-long program at Oneida Baptist Institute in Clay County.

Although named by New York Times as "the Worst Place to Live in America", Clay County has become a beacon of hope in the Appalachia. Since 2013, spirited residents have founded a grassroots organization, Stay in Clay, and started a Story Bridge theater group, Monkey Dumlins. Since then tremendous change is happening in this rural community.


Funded by the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Grant from the Department of Justice, we collaborated with Stay in Clay and engaged the Story Bridge method to create a safe space for the youth to go into deep reflection, build social emotional capacity, and build peace and understanding in the community. At the end of the week, from their own true life stories, participants co-created a theatrical play with original music.

Evaluation found remarkable impact this program had on improving the psychological, emotional and social well-being of the youth. Click here to view the entire infographic and impact report.

Sponsors and Partners:

U.S. Department of Justice

Partners for Education at Berea College

Stay in Clay

Monkey Dumplins Story Bridge Theater

Oneida Baptist Institute

bottom of page