Call for Session Proposals

 The National Rural Assembly Steering Committee is pleased to issue a call for session proposals for this year’s national gathering in Washington, D.C.  

The 2015 Assembly will build upon the themes of the Rural Compact and take a cross-sector approach in seeking to address issues that disproportionately affect rural communities, such as persistent poverty; disinvestment by public and private institutions; lack of access to quality healthcare, education, and technologies; and the depletion of natural resources.

The content of this year’s gathering will inform the final day of the meeting, which will include a Congressional briefing and individual visits with policymakers.

In years past, Rural Assembly breakout sessions have provided fertile ground for future organizing and have cultivated new and diverse networks on behalf of specific issues like rural broadband access, climate change, transportation, and youth leadership.  We have a limited number of breakout rooms at this year’s gathering and we urge submissions to be as complete as possible. 

Sessions will take place in the afternoon on Wednesday, September 9. They will run 90 minutes.

Deadline for submissions is July 1, 2015, 5pm Eastern. Presenters will be notified of their session's status by July 15.

Audience:

The Assembly will bring together over 200 rural practitioners, leaders, and advocates from across the country.  You may have 35+ participants in any given session who represent multiple sectors, from health to education, community development to natural resources, and multiple geographies including Appalachia, the Delta, and Indian Country. In years past, we’ve noted that approximately 25-30% of our participants are young leaders or new to the field. 

Please consider the following guidelines as you develop your session:

We invite proposals that:

  • Address a specific challenge and offer cross-sector solutions;
  • Support conference theme of Building An Inclusive Nation;
  • Include multiple voices and represent diversity across geography, culture, and sector.

Session content should:

  • Promote strategies for addressing one or more of the following broad challenges:
    • Rural child poverty
    • Closing the philanthropy gap in rural America
    • Healthy, sustainable rural communities

Key outcomes of each session should include:

  • A set of talking points or policy ask that will inform our subsequent day on the Hill, September 10.
  • Take-home piece, i.e., clear charge to take back to one’s organization or community.

Tactical Tips:

  1. A participatory-based session is most desirable.  You may engage multiple presenters, but the bulk of your time should be spent in collaborative discussion.
  2. Sessions can be made more valuable when designed with multiple voices or varying points of view. 
  3. Sessions are often most well received when they include personalized stories and examples from those who are facing the challenge on the ground.
  4. A combination of data, stories, and a clear outcome is a winning formula!

Submit your session proposal here.