At the 2015 National Rural Assembly, officials from the White House and other federal agencies, along with leading experts and researchers in the field, decried the rising rates of child poverty in rural America. Rural child poverty rates have grown by a third over the past decade, leaving one in four rural children in poverty and whole communities debilitated, facing a lost generation of kids and families. Nationwide, more than 75% of our country’s persistently poor counties are rural. Poor kids have a greater chance of ending up in our criminal justice system and a smaller chance of graduating high school. By developing an inclusive process that empowers young people from diverse communities in areas like the Delta, Indian Country, and along the border, in particular, the Rural Assembly will lift up strategies that work for families and communities disadvantaged by isolation, poverty, and disenfranchisement.

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