Everywhere Radio: New voices and new questions
The podcast returns for third season of stories that explore why rural leaders do what they do — and how they keep going in the face of conflict, says host Whitney Kimball Coe
By Whitney Kimball Coe
Everywhere Radio spotlights everyday rural leaders and their allies as they work to build more inclusive and just communities. This podcast emerged from the depths of a pandemic, when we didn’t know how we’d gather again to swap stories and break bread. It became important to find another way to share and encourage one another. Everywhere Radio became that laboratory for seeing and understanding the many forms rural leadership takes across the country in the midst of pandemic and polarization. What we’ve learned is that it looks like many things, but it especially looks like women, young people, queer people, Black, and brown people holding the line, sometimes quietly, sometimes with a megaphone.
Everywhere Radio returns this season with new voices and new questions. We want to ask rural leaders why they do what they do and how they keep going in the face of conflict: How do you stay in relationship with your neighbors despite differences? What inner resources are you drawing upon to keep showing up when the work gets hard? What are you learning along the way about yourself, your community, and the future you envision? Why does rural America matter to the future of our democracy? These are questions so many of us are grappling with at a visceral level, within our families and our local communities, especially.
We know that the answers become clearer when we engage them through our own stories, our lived experiences, drawing upon our proximity to people and places. Our “why” and “how” are necessarily bound up in the people and places that are most real to us: Our first guest this season, writer and historian Lyndsie Bourgon, wanted to know more about how tree poaching affects forests like the one in her front yard. Her research led her to stories about our human quest for dignity and identity in the face of displacement and poverty. Another guest in a coming episode, Tim Lampkin, founder of Higher Purpose Co. in rural Mississippi, declares that the future he’s seeking for his home state is one where all Mississippians are “healed, whole, and happy.”
These leaders, and others we’ll be interviewing this season, locate their “why” and “how” just outside their front door.
We hope you’ll join us for every episode of this season of Everywhere Radio. If it’s helpful for you and speaks to your journey through the highs and lows of rural life, let us know. If there are rural rockstars in your backyard whom we ought to interview, let us know.
Thanks for listening, learning, and walking alongside us.
Whitney Kimball Coe is the director of National Programs at the Center for Rural Strategies. In that role, she leads the Rural Assembly, a nationwide movement striving to build better policy and more opportunity for rural communities across the country. As an organizer, speaker, moderator, and writer, Whitney has shared her perspectives on community and civic courage with audiences around the world. She has been featured on stage at the Aspen Ideas Festival and the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit, and as a guest on the radio program On Being with Krista Tippett.