Sissonville, W.Va. (AP) -- Unemployment and poverty rates are up.
Health care is less accessible to more members of the middle class.
More americans, especially children, are homeless and hungry.
Reversing those trends is the goal of more than 150 people representing 40 organizations across the globe who are in West Virginia this week for the poverty scholars program leadership school.
Their primary objective is to re-ignite the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s war on poverty.
Monday's sessions focused on poverty and the economic crisis.
On Tuesday they will visit Matewan, the site of a violent coal miners' strike in 1920, and Kayford Mountain, where miners have been blasting the mountaintop for more than 20 years to reveal multiple coal seams.
The sessions continue through Saturday.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)