Rural Assembly Everywhere Spring 2022 Breakouts + Happy Hour

Thank you to the organizations presenting breakout sessions at Rural Assembly Everywhere Spring 2022.  You’ll be sent Zoom links for each breakout after you register for Rural Assembly Everywhere May 10 + 11. 

breakout partners

Tuesday May 10 Breakouts + Happy Hour

Breakout 1: Young Voters: The future of Rural Communities and the Nation

Led by Rural Youth Catalyst Project Co-Founders Kim Phinney and Kathy Moxon and CIRCLE Deputy Director Abby Kiesa.

Civic participation by rural young people is critical to building vibrant communities and a strong nation. Participation in elections, local, state, and national, is an indicator of their level of engagement in civic life. Yet, too often a lack of support exists for young people to see this entry point, access it, and feel welcomed. Abby Kiesa, deputy director of CIRCLE, will share their new analysis about youth in rural areas and discuss the barriers to young voters from exercising their power.  This live, interactive breakout session will be an opportunity learn about and share ways communities are building robust civic engagement of young people.

Kiesa will join Kathy Moxon and Kim Phinney, co-founders of The Rural Youth Catalyst Project, a national rural youth initiative that works to strengthen and create opportunities that allow rural and Native youth to realize their hopes and dreams while remaining in or returning to their communities. 

Breakout 2: Instigate Joy + Activate Justice

Led by Diana K. Oestreich and Saadia Qureshi 

Courage requires us to plant our feet on two things: that joy is our birthright and everyone under the sun deserves it. Do you feel like stress is eating at you or have you silently waved the white flag? Showing up is hard work which is why we can’t do it without joy. You deserve to feel joy too, everybody does. Uncover your own stories and tools that fuel you in this interactive storytelling session. Root yourself in your stories and your strengths that will inspire you and instigate more joy and infectious courage as you live and go about your work.

This breakout session will give attendees a place to share how tired or worn out they are and map out their own tools of joy to integrate into their lives and work, increasing their resilience, and ability to connect across lines of difference and feel energized! Attendees will be taught by peacemaker Saadia Qureshi and hear stories of how she faces adversity and uses joy to keep showing up and doing the work. 

7 p.m. Happy Hour 

The Good, The Bad, The Elegy Happy Hour

Countless great stories start in rural places. From Smallville, Kansas to Tatooine in a galaxy far, far away and so many places in between, pop culture has taken us to many iconic rural locales.

Join the team behind the Daily Yonder newsletter “The Good, the Bad, and the Elegy” as we rank spaces and places from the worlds of media and entertainment. What are the top tier destinations and what’s merely mid? Don’t worry if you’re not up on all the references, all are welcome to participate and play along! 

Wednesday May 11 Breakouts

Breakout 1:  Creative People Power in Rural Places with Springboard for the Arts 

Zoom link:
Led by Michele Anderson, Bethany Lacktorin, and Sandra Kern Mollman
Culture bearers, creatives, and artists are doing essential work in rural places. They’re organizing joyful community gatherings, facilitating storytelling and community planning, developing economic platforms for creative entrepreneurs, turning vacant buildings into welcoming spaces, and imagining our collective future. Join Springboard for the Arts for an interactive conversation with artists from their Rural Regenerator Fellowship program about how to collaborate effectively with artists on rural community topics of all types. This workshop will include time to engage with guided activities to reflect on steps you can take to nurture the creative people power that already exists in your community. 

Breakout 2: Reporting on Rural: The How and the Why

Moderated by Caroline Carlson, digital editor of the Daily Yonder and featuring Tim Marema,  Editor, the Daily Yonder; Pamela Dempsey,  Executive Director, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, Terrence Williams — President and Chief Operating Officer, The Keene Sentinel

The Rural Journalism Collective would like to invite you to participate in a discussion with Daily Yonder team members, and friends, that will explore why accurate representation of rural communities in media is important. The discussion will dive into how we’re looking at rural data, what we’ve been working on lately, and how we assess rural stories, among other things. Please join and bring your own questions and comments — there will be plenty of time for sharing and discussion.