Bridging divides, strengthening communities through rural-urban partnerships
// By Jacqueline Brennan
For a stronger America that enables all to prosper, rural and urban communities must “bridge divides and come together to address common issues, adapt their practices, and develop deeper, stronger partnerships to solve issues and build the social sector,” says Paul Daugherty, president and CEO of Philanthropy West Virginia.
During the Upswell workshop, “Building Rural & Urban Partnerships for a Stronger America,” Daugherty and his co-presenters – including Legacy Foundation’s Carolyn Saxton and Community Foundation of the Ozarks’ Brian Fogle – will dispel assumptions about how rural communities and rural philanthropies operate; draw on firsthand, lived experiences from states like Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, and West Virginia; and share models that funders and other social enterprises can use to build stronger communities all-around.
Daugherty’s experience in this area runs deep, with roots that go back almost 30 years, “since I was 10.” He says it’s important to ensure that rural communities have a voice, a presence, and can contribute when working with national funders and partners, and more importantly, “that they have self-directed leadership and partnerships with those national and regional partners who want to do good in those places.”
Going beyond the data, the workshop will show “how to actually go about doing it” with real working examples of how people and national/regional foundations have experimented in the work of rural philanthropy, and how this work also bridges divides with urban communities.
“It’s good when people talk about the ‘why’ of doing rural philanthropy and work, but we’re going to talk about the ‘how’ and ‘what’, and it will be from those who are based in those spaces. So the exciting part is yes, we need more and better rural philanthropy, but we also have the opportunity to make sure that it’s not a top-down approach, but a community-connected approach, working with those who are on the ground who have decades of experience.”
Building Rural & Urban Partnerships for a Stronger America is happening Wednesday, November 13, 9:30 – 10:45am.