(Art courtesy of the Rural Assembly)

Rural Assembly Everywhere, the virtual gathering of the Rural Assembly, will feature conversations with rural leaders and allies, including Anderson Clayton, the youngest state political party leader in the nation.

Clayton, chair of the North Carolina Democratic party, is one of several rural leaders and allies scheduled to be part of the free, virtual event 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, June 28.

This year’s Everywhere is focused on rural people who are working toward safer, more connected communities. It is the fourth virtual event for the Rural Assembly, which has been hosting gatherings across the country since 2007. 

Rural Assembly Everywhere will be broadcast via the Crowdcast platform. Attendees will be able to connect with one another before and during the broadcast through the event chat.

“Everywhere is the virtual analog to an in-person Rural Assembly. Even in a virtual space, we feel like we can create an experience that inspires and strengthens our connections to one another across zip codes and culture,” said Rural Assembly Director Whitney Kimball Coe.

“The theme of ‘safer, more connected rural communities’ gives us an opportunity to explore how people and places are taking care of each other and affirming the dignity of one another–through arts and culture, policy advocacy, organizing and gathering, big and small acts of care.” 

The stories from Everywhere remind us that rural people and places are extra and ordinary and essential to the future of our nation.”

In addition, the event will spotlight other rural voices through video stories and conversations, including:

  • Award-winning author and Kentucky Poet Laureate Silas House in conversation with his friend The Rt. Rev. Brian Lee Cole, bishop of the Diocese of East Tennessee.

House, whose Appalachian rural upbringing features heavily in his fiction and commentary, is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including his most recent, Lark Ascending, which was a Booklist Editors’ Choice and is the winner of the 2023 Southern Book Prize and the 2023 Nautilus Book Award. In 2022 he was the recipient of the Duggins Prize, the largest award for an LGBTQ writer in the nation.

  • Highlander Center’s Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson and Allyn Maxfield-Steele will share about the center’s work in the South.
  • Citizen Power: Sam Schimmel and Jonathan Blair. Schimmel and Blair are co-creators of an ongoing documentary media and public engagement initiative – American Creed: Citizen Power, a follow-up to the 2018 documentary American Creed from Citizen Film. Hear how they are working to build safer, more connected communities, the barriers they face, and their advice for other young rural community organizers.
  • Stories from rural organizations and initiatives including Catwalk drag show in Minnesota; Good Neighbor Missouri, Welcoming America, Equal Justice Initiative, Main Street America, and StrengthenND
  • Artists Brett Hill, Eliza Blue, Cody & Alex, and Torrey McDowell will share stories and musical performances.

The Rural Assembly is a program of the Center for Rural Strategies, which also publishes the Daily Yonder.

Registration for Everywhere is free. Visit www.ruralassembly.org/everywhere to register.

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