What if… (communications/media)

  • What if rural Americans could hope to live as long as urban Americans (into their 70s rather than 40s or 50s * study published in PNAS Sept. 17, 2015). What if we could unite all rural sectors behind a national campaign to build/transform/design a health rural America?
  • What if narrative change through country music remix. Can’t change the dominant frame but you can start asking people to think differently.
  • What if we leveraged the fluidity of identity of social media with the assets of rural diaspora?
  • What if we were the role models for civil discourse?
  • 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, just like or very similar to this exercise, we could continually extend this same exercise to orgs and individuals to ask what is? And then we, as champions/funders answer “why not?” Let’s go to work.
  • 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 change the narrative of persistent poverty, regions as places with opportunity, hope and ripe for investment?
  • What if we build a channel, platform, or communications infrastructure that will: connect urban and rural; create cultural commonality; build purposeful communities; push back against mean divisive themes; and take advantage of emerging technology? 
  • What if we fostered a national dialog that focused on US — all of us — instead of “us and them”?