A democracy is only as strong as its agora – the town halls, faith groups, parent-teacher organizations, and neighborhood associations that create opportunities for people to cultivate the capacities needed for self-governance. In many parts of rural America, however, the agora is eroding, and women are stepping up to rebuild. This panel looks at rural communities across the country where women are making decisions that build civic capacity and foster participation in democracy. The panel is moderated by Hahrie Han, inaugural director of the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University, and featured speakers. Director Han will explore their particular challenges organizing in geographically dispersed rural communities, and the distinct methods they use to cultivate an active rural agora.
We know it takes persistent work and participation to counteract that narrative of rural communities as inhospitable and non-inclusive. How do we support the flourishing of queer communities in rural America? This panel will offer stories and insights from rural lgbtq+ leaders, who will talk about their experiences building community in rural areas, what they most appreciate about their small towns, and how rural allies can continue to provide support. Moderated by advocate, organizer, and storyteller, LB Prevette, this roundtable will also include Mikah Carlos.
Each day we will share performances, readings, and more from artists and we’ll share videos and photos from other rural organizations and from those of you responded to our calls for participation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the disparities in health care and vaccine access in rural communities across the country. This hour-long breakout session will discuss how women-led businesses in rural areas are vital to creating a healthier community, and a healthier community improves outcomes for businesses. During the session, we will hear how women business owners from rural Iowa and Mississippi have been on the frontlines during the pandemic. Joining them will be voices from rural health systems in Minnesota and Texas to share the impact of public health and the burden the pandemic has played on women in healthcare in rural communities.
Department of Public Transformation and Voices for Rural Resilience bring together seven RURAL ROCKSTAR women for "Who Does She Think She Is?" as a part of Rural Women Everywhere! We invite rural women to witness and support each other on our journeys to lead with ambition - to be audacious, bold, articulate and empowered - to reflect on our own experiences, while hearing from rural cultural workers Julie Garreau | Wičhaȟpi Epatȟaŋ Wiŋ (Eagle Butte, SD); ChristinaMaria Patiño Xochitlzihuatl Houle (Brownsville, TX); Salma Ahmed (Hibbing, MN); Dr. Yvette McDaniel (Orangeburn, SC); Jamie Horter (Lyons, NE); and Maria Sykes (Green River, UT), who will share challenges they have faced and the ways they keep moving forward with audacious ambition! We will also be joined by featured poet, Cassie Willams, sharing an original poem about women's ambition!
Join women from the Daily Yonder (and some bonus friends!) for a conversation about women in rural journalism. We’ll discuss the different strengths and lenses of identity women bring to this industry, share some of our own experiences telling stories about rural places and the pieces we’ve worked on recently, and talk broadly about how rural women show up in contemporary media—in the stories, telling the stories, adjacent to the stories, etc. Do you have favorite female journalists who’ve written about rural that you want to talk about? Thoughts about the way rural women interact with/appear in news and media? We welcome your questions, comments and any thoughts you’d like to add.
Join back up with our panel of rural LGBTQ+ leaders to continue the conversation about allyship in rural America. LB Prevette and others will seed and field questions, encourage the swapping of stories, and dig into the steps and actions we should all be taking on behalf of our rural queer and BIPOC neighbors.
Join the Daily Yonder for rural bingo Happy Hour. Yes, rural bingo.
Diane Wilson (Dakota) is a writer, speaker, and editor, who has published two award-winning books, as well as essays in numerous publications. Her new novel, The Seed Keeper, was published by Milkweed Editions in March. The Seed Keeper follows a Dakota family’s struggle to preserve their way of life, and their sacrifices to protect what matters most. Rural Assembly’s Tyler Owens will interview Diane about her journey into this story, what lessons and practices we glean from it, and how Indigenous women build power and legacy in rural America.
Hear from Senior Policy Advisor at the Rural Utilities Service Edyael Casaperalta. The USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) provides much-needed infrastructure or infrastructure improvements to rural communities, including water and waste treatment, electric power and telecommunications services. She is an attorney who has supported indigenous and underrepresented communities in telecommunications matters. Most recently, she served as ACI Project Manager for AMERIND, the only 100-percent Tribally owned insurance provider in the United States, where she supported the company’s efforts to bring high-speed broadband to Tribal Nations, businesses, and communities. Prior to that, she was a fellow in the American Indian Law Program at the University of Colorado Law School. Casaperalta also served for more than seven years with the Center for Rural Strategies leading the Rural Broadband Policy Group, a national coalition of rural organizations advocating for high-speed, reliable, affordable broadband. She received a bachelor’s degree from Occidental College, a master’s from Ohio University, and a juris doctor from the University of Colorado Law School. She is proud to be from Elsa, Texas, a small border town in the Rio Grande Valley area. She lives in Colorado with her partner, Julia.
Most of us are feeling the long impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Whether we have lost love ones, lost employment, faced hard decisions about connecting with our friends and family, combatted challenges with health care or childcare, or even fallen sick ourselves and had to care for those we love, we can all reflect on how hard the last 1.5 years has been on our collective and personal psyches. Take the toll of the pandemic and couple that with climate disasters, in the form of wildlfires, catastrophic drought, deadly flooding, or strong storm surges, we are all feeling the push of climate disruption in our lives, our work, and on our land. While it may be hard to find hope in the darkness, we’ve invited rural women leaders in agriculture and food systems work to reflect on and respond via selfie video to these questions: What are you tending/caring for in these times? What gives you hope in the darkness? How are you building resilience where you are? Who inspires you to keep up the work? Join us for this roundtable led by Gabrielle McNalley, Executive Director of Women for the Land, as we source hope in the darkness.
Each day we will share performances, readings, and more from artists. We’ll share videos and photos from other rural organizations, from rural youth, and from those of you responded to our calls for participation.
Due to a scheduling issue, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland will no longer be speaking at Rural Women Everywhere.
100 Rural Women is creating connections and inspiring leadership across the state. Join us for story-sharing with six amazing rural leaders. We will hear from Indigenous women, students, fellows and researchers who are working to affect positive change in rural Minnesota and their communities. They all approach their work with passion, creativity and strength. We will learn more about food justice & sovereignty, language revitalization, transformational education policy, equity, and the networks that connect rural women. This session will include interactive breakout groups and discussion with panelists.
Rural Women Everywhere presents Courageous Mujer Podcast with host Gladys Godinez and special guest Norma Flores López. In this episode, we get to know Norma who grew up as a child of a migrant farmworker family from South Texas. She began working in the fields at the age of 12, where she continued working until she graduated from high school. She has long been an active advocate for migrant farmworker children’s rights and continues to raise awareness on issues affecting the farmworker community.
Join the conversation with a West Virginia judge who directs a juvenile drug court with an iron compassion; a journalist in remote Maine who informs and connects far-flung neighbors through a regional newspaper; and a community visionary and organizer who built a cross-border collaboration among Native Americans, Mexicans, and Anglos in a desert town in southern Arizona.
We are living through continuous change, carrying grief, and experiencing dramatic shifts and emergence. As we’ve endured these growing pains, many of us have found deep practices to sustain us and heard new callings rising within us. Join Lillie Benowitz from The On Being Project for a reflective experience that will open up space to explore questions of: What is mine to do? Where is my heart being pulled? What can I do to align my actions with where I am called?