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For the first case study in our What’s Working in Rural series, we examine how rural-serving organizations can effectively welcome and truly empower leaders from all backgrounds.
An innovator on this question is Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF), a North Carolina–based nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring students and farmworkers together to learn about each other’s lives, share resources and skills, improve conditions for farmworkers, and build diverse coalitions working for social change.
In the case study, SAF shares how their board development work is grounded in four specific practices that, together, are intended to create an inclusive body in which all members can bring their authentic selves and experiences to leadership.
- Value What Everyone Brings: Board Matrix
- Share Knowledge and Experiences: Skillsharing and Training
- Support Each Other: Board Buddies
- Foster an Atmosphere of Conviviality: Sharing Activities and Stories
Download the case study for more details and four tips for putting this practice to work.
Prepare Action-Able Leadership
Communities have and prepare leaders with the will, skills, relationships, diversity, knowledge, and power needed to fully engage the community and the region to establish, align, and achieve priorities that increase both well-being and equity outcomes.
Design for Everyone to Thrive
Local leaders intentionally design community and economic development efforts to improve outcomes for people disadvantaged due to historic or ongoing economic, racial, age, gender, or cultural discrimination.
Strengthen Local Ownership and Influence
Businesses, institutions, organizations, and resources critical to the community and its future are owned locally and/or directed and advised by the full range of community members who have a stake in their durability and success.
Rural Voice in Design and Action
A robust, representative, diverse and powerful network of Native nation and rural leaders, practitioners, and doers consistently engage in advising and influencing narrative, policy design, and action agendas across sectors and levels of government.
Aspen CSG’s consultant Rebecca Huenink led the writing process for our What’s Working in Rural series. We are grateful for her contributions.