Center for Rural Affairs Commits to Equality and Inclusion for All Residents of Rural America

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The Center for Rural Affairs recently issued a statement in support of diversity in rural America.

The Center for Rural Affairs is committed to equity and inclusion for all residents of rural America.

“Amidst the turbulent political times for immigrants in our country, the Center for Rural Affairs reiterates its commitment to advancing a set of values that reflects the best of rural America,” the statement says. “Among those values are RESPONSIBILITY placed upon each of us to contribute to our community and society, genuine OPPORTUNITY for all to earn a living, raise a family, and prosper in a rural place, and FAIRNESS that allows all who contribute to the nation’s prosperity to share in it.”

The Center leads several initiatives to include rural America’s newest residents in advancing shared values. Staff provide training and technical assistance to new Latino-owned businesses. The New American Loan Fund helps Latino entrepreneurs access credit. Bilingual and bicultural farmer training programs offer skill building in production, business, and marketing to Latino farmers. Intercultural leadership programs help rural leaders of all ethnicities and backgrounds in newly diverse towns build inclusivity.

“We are committed to equity and inclusion for all residents of rural America,” the statement says. “From the first Native people in North America to the present, waves of newcomers have shaped rural America into the place we are proud to call home.”

The organization cites examples of small-town schools that are full again. Towns once experiencing population loss are stable or growing as new immigrants arrive. With the new arrivals, many small businesses and new farms are popping up.

“All of this brings renewed opportunity to rural America,” the statement says. “The Center for Rural Affairs will continue on as we have always done: fighting the good fight for everyone, in small towns and rural areas across the country. This includes Native Americans, the first residents of this land. It includes the descendants of all those who have come to call rural America home over the centuries. And it includes those who have arrived here recently in search of a new life.”

The full statement can be found at

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Rhea Landholm
Center for Rural Affairs
since: 12/2008
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