What if… (intersectionality/breaking silos)
- What if we saw as central to our work to improve rural communities a necessity to tackle the suicidal despair that wracks communities struggling with the opioid epidemic and aggressively worked to dismantle the silos between health, individual social services, and economic development so that efforts centered on a systematic strategy of culture change, leadership development, and alternative job creation that’s outcome is building a culture that has a desire to live.
- What if…No one tried to discredit ethnic groups, experiences, cultures and what they found offensive? Tribes were able to exercise full sovereignty? Native youth were given the tools they need to reach their full potential (sustainable living, top of the line school facilities, committed teachers/mentors, supportive communities, access to better healthcare, fully funded programs) and had nothing to stop them?
- What if former USDA housing were a right? What if we invested in slow, especially difficult activities we know [illegible]? What if there were a child poverty think tank?
What if there were an overlapping set of structures and communication systems that allowed rural and urban advocates to call on each other for support for their mutual benefit?
- What if people who wanted to unite the country had the same capacity to talk to rural America as people who want to divide it?
- What if we stopped talking about the rural-urban divide because of [illegible] and place based economic successes?
- What if …In most small rural communities -> K-12 education is the #1 employer? We need to make K-12 education the pillar of the community and economic development. -> Breakdown silos
- What if we collectively change the national conversation from the persistently stubborn rural vs urban debate or talk of the rural/urban divide and started with a conversation about the connections that exist between urban and rural, the way we are mutually dependent on each other? How do we articulate a strong rural proposition? How do we help urban leadership know us better and vice versa? Break down walls and barriers
- What if we fostered a national dialog that focused on US — all of us — instead of “us and them”?