1. Divisions between urban and rural communities are significant and growing larger.
2. Urban/rural polarization is a proxy for other divisions, such as “reds" vs. "blues” and levels of racial, religious, and ethnic diversity. These divisions are undermining social cohesion in the U.S.
3. Urban and rural areas sit near each other in regions across the nation, presenting opportunities for positive interactions to build relationships and address challenges such as mass incarceration, financial insecurity, gun violence, and environmental degradation.
OUR THREE-STEP APPROACH
1. We equip community organizations and local governments across the urban/rural divide with critical consensus-building and civic engagement skills.
2. Participants apply those collaborative problem-solving and organizing skills to discuss and analyze complex challenges such as mass incarceration, environmental degradation, and social isolation that cut across the urban/rural divide within their region. 3. Participants form urban/rural coalitions to implement community projects with measurable impact, thereby strengthening relationships that contribute to increased capacity to address local problems together.