Whitney Kimball Coe in black dress shakes hand of priest at Yale

Wherever you go, the Yonder goes with you

Rural Assembly Director Whitney Kimball Coe shares her thoughts about how the Daily Yonder has kept her connected during a life transition this fall. 

By Whitney Kimball Coe
Director, Rural Assembly 

As a rural sojourner, I’m more convinced than ever that rural identity is something that never truly leaves you, no matter where you plant your feet.

A few months ago, my little family moved from our small town in East Tennessee to the urban wilderness of New Haven, Connecticut, where I’m pursuing my Master of Divinity degree.

This move is bittersweet. I never imagined leaving home again, especially after returning a decade ago to build a life in the community that loved me well. For the next few years, at least, the landscape of our lives will look and feel different. I can already report that internet speeds in New Haven are faster (go figure) and public transportation is pretty great. The fall colors dazzle, and looking around on my daily walks, I get the feeling that I’m a rural transplant among other rural transplants.

As I learn how to build community here, it’s a gift that the Daily Yonder is only a click away. I visit the Yonder more than daily for news of the world, for connection and stories that help me remember who I am and what I value.

In homesick moments or times of longing, I find myself leaning into the cultural pieces brought to us by writers like Donna Kallner, Eliza Blue, and Keith Roysdon. In times of overwhelm, I turn to data wizard Sarah Melotte’s reporting for the clarity rendered in charts. And when I look into my urban backyard, I see connections across the economic and health challenges faced by urban and rural alike, illuminated by reporters like Liz Carey and Kristi Eaton.

It’s like the Yonder’s got us all —no matter where we’re blooming. 

Tis the season to give to the things that help us stay connected and whole. Hope the Yonder is on your list.

Whitney Kimball Coe is Vice President of National Programs at the Center for Rural Strategies. In that role, she leads the Rural Assembly.

The Daily Yonder is the only national news organization focused exclusively on serving America’s rural communities. If you value the rural journalism and small-town stories we provide, we hope you’ll support our newsroom today. Donations from readers like you make the work of our nonprofit newsroom possible. Until Dec. 31, every dollar you give is matched

Along with the Rural Assembly, The Daily Yonder is a project of the Center for Rural Strategies, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Gifts may be tax deductible; consult a tax adviser for more information.

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