Grant supports Rural Assembly and related activities

A major grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will ensure continuation of the National Rural Assembly and a range of related rural organizing and development activities.

The three-year, $7 million grant will go to a national partnership of nonprofits to build public support for policies that benefit rural children and families. The grant will support the National Rural Assembly and a sister project, the Rural People Rural Policy initiative.

"We want to change the landscape for rural kids in hard-hit communities," said Sterling K. Speirn, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation. "The Kellogg Foundation has a long-standing commitment to making sure that rural children succeed."

The purpose of the project is to build a national coalition that can address the needs of rural American children and families. It will include more than 500 organizations working in 47 states and Washington D.C. on rural policy.

The Center for Rural Strategies, the managing partner of the National Rural Assembly Steering Committee, will serve as fiscal agent for the grant.

"Too often rural America is out of sight, out of mind in the national conversation," said Dee Davis, president of the Center for Rural Strategies. "This work provides a way for groups to create a powerful rural voice."

Other partner organizations in the grant are the Institute for Emerging Issues at N.C. State University in Raleigh, N.C., MDC, Inc. of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Innovation Network for Communities of Beaver Island, Mich.

The three-year grant will support a variety of activities including convenings of the National Rural Assembly, training for rural practitioners in policy development and advocacy, and a range of online tools to help rural groups communicate and organize.