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Reclaiming Appalachia

Investing in Community, Cooperation and Change

Event graphic with gray text that reads: Reclaiming Appalachia: Investing in Community, Cooperation and ChangeIn September, we met with our network organizations and partners to discuss transformative solutions that address rural poverty. In partnership with network member Fahe, we offered a peer-learning opportunity to generate innovative ideas and approaches and establish the valuable connections necessary to produce long-lasting, systemic change.

Persistent poverty is an enduring problem in rural America. Geographic isolation, lack of resources and economic opportunities, and disinvestment have led to high poverty rates for decades. Rural and small town poverty rates are highest in the South, where more than half of all rural and small town persons in poverty reside. Even more disconcerting is that the number of persistent poverty counties is on the rise, having increased by 8 percent from the year 2000 level.


Sessions at our rural conference covered topics like comprehensive community development, housing and economic development and organizational resilience. View the presentations below. Each also includes workshop notes that highlight key discussion points, themes and overall impressions.  The discussion continues with #InvestInRural. Tag us @neighborworks with your questions and insights about the presentations above.

Highlights from Our Rural Convening

Program Partners

  • HAC
  • Rural LISC
  • USDA Rural Development
  • Center for Community Progress
  • Community Housing Capital
  • NeighborWorks Capital
  • RCAC
  • First Nations OWEESTA 

Highlights from Hope in the Delta

This year's conference builds on the strategies and discussions from last year's summit, “Hope in the Delta: Turning the Tide on Persistent Rural Poverty." Watch clips from our webcast to understand the unique perspectives of rural communities. 
Rural summit: What should America know about areas of persistent rural poverty?
Investing in rural communities means changing the stereotypes surrounding them. Panelists share why rural areas are worth investing in.
Rural summit: Why do people stay in areas of persistent rural poverty?
Why do you stay? This question plagues rural residents. Panelists share the sense of community that makes rural areas home for many Americans.

Hope in the Delta Presentations

Reclaiming Appalachia Event Sponsors

Reclaiming Appalachia Event Sponsors include Wells Fargo Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Tennessee Housing Development Agency and Bank of America


Rural Partnerships
Reclaiming Appalachia: Rural Conference
White paper: Turning the Tide on Persistent Rural Poverty