Monday, June 27, 2011

The National Rural Assembly

This week we are excited to report that we will be taking part in the National Rural Assembly in St. Paul, Minnesota. We look forward to sharing the conversations and connections that emerge from this gathering, and we'd like to point folks toward a few ways that they can contribute to the ongoing work of the Assembly from their own home communities.

Most immediately, The Daily Yonder will be covering the week's events in detail; the Assembly is hosting a remarkable list of rural leaders, speaking on a number of topics, so (as always) we can turn to The Daily Yonder for the full perspective.

Also, resources within the Assembly's Working Groups will be particularly useful beyond St. Paul. The areas of focus include transportation, broadband, emerging issues and rural youth--and each individual site contains webinars, essays and commentary that can help guide local discussions.

Folks should also take a moment to consider The Rural Compact, "a set of principles for building stronger rural communities and a stronger nation:"
Rural America is more than the land. It is a way we are connected in culture, heritage, and national enterprise. While it may be vast, it is far from empty. Sixty million of us live in the American countryside, and far more grew up there. Rural Americans reflect the full diversity of the country in who we are, what we do, and what we want to achieve.

When rural communities succeed, the nation does better, and cities and suburbs have more resources on which to build. Conversely, when rural communities falter, it drains the nation’s prosperity and limits what we can accomplish together.

We now face the challenges of how we sustainably fuel, feed, and nurture both ourselves and a fragile world. A vital rural America has a contribution to make in this effort and the responsibility to take on that endeavor.

We offer this compact as a set of principles on which to build the kind of rural America that is needed now and a rural America that is ready to face the challenges to come.
The Rural Compact is concerned with issues of stewardship, health, investments, and education within rural communities--and we encourage folks to take a moment to peruse the Compact and join those who have endorsed this document.

There is much more to explore on the National Rural Assembly site. While learning more about this gathering, we'd also consider taking a look at the 2010 National Rural Youth Assembly and hearing the voices of this next generation.

Related Articles:
The National Rural Youth Assembly