Because rural communities are isolated geographically, it sometimes can be difficult to leverage their political power on various issues.
That’s one of the reasons a new campaign, 10,000 Friends of Rural America, has cropped up. It’s an outgrowth of the Center for Rural Strategies, which is a nonprofit dedicated to improving economic and social communities in rural areas.
The 10,000 Friends of Rural America contends many Americans don’t understand or value what rural American contributes to the country, and national leaders’ interest and willingness to invest in rural America is waning. The organization hope to help rural America speak with one voice and draw attention to its value.
The goal is to rally support for a social media campaign that will involve people from across the country who are willing to speak up for rural issues. Although the new effort hasn’t explicitly mentioned education, it’s hard to imagine that that issue won’t come up.
“Rural America is more than the butt of reality TV jokes or an afterthought in public policy debates,” according to the campaign website. “It is the places that connect us and a diversity of people who work hard, pitch in and help out. Rural America is everyone’s fresh air and clean water. And it is key to fueling our nation and feeding the world. Rural America has a role to play in building an economy where everyone does better, and that message isn’t getting heard.”
More than two dozen partners are listed as part of the group.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rural Education blog.