Everywhere Radio with Whitney Kimball Coe
By Everywhere Radio
Everywhere Radio with Whitney Kimball CoeMay 25, 2023
In Conversation with 100 Rural Women Founder Teresa Kittridge
Teresa Kittridge has spent much of her life serving rural people across the country as a leader in the private, public and nonprofit sectors as well as serving in elected office in Minnesota. She founded the nonprofit organization 100 Rural Women to inspire leadership and create connections among rural women. We talk with Teresa about the organization; what has changed in rural policy work; the definition of rural; and what she heard from women in all 87 counties of Minnesota.
Teresa Kittridge, founder of 100 Rural Women, lives in Marcell Township in Northern Minnesota. She has spent much of her life serving rural people across the country, with a career that includes executive level leadership in the private, public and nonprofit sectors as well as serving in elected office. 100 Rural Women models her life’s work, by serving women in rural places to inspire leadership, create connections, networks, support civic engagement and encourage leadership.
The first twenty years of her career were spent serving as an officer of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Following her time in the legislature, she built the Washington D.C. office of RUPRI (Rural Policy Research Institute) and served as Director of National Policy Programs. She has over a decade of experience in leading and building national and international businesses, as a publishing executive for MN based Coughlan Companies and then as founder and president of MNREM (Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace) a non-profit organization. Kittridge returned to RUPRI in 2014 as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. She is currently building the national non-partisan organization, 100 Rural Women.
Teresa is an active civic and community volunteer. She is an elected Trustee and Secretary of the Board for the Bigfork Valley Hospital Northern Itasca Hospital District, serves on Marcell Township Business Loan committee and on committees of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Rural Innovation. Kittridge served as Board Chair and as a Director on the Waconia School Board. She holds a M.A. in Organizational Leadership and a B.A. in Business Administration.
Introducing Libby Lane, the Rural Assembly's New Deputy Director
Whitney talks with Libby Lane, the Rural Assembly's new Deputy Director. She comes to us from the rural Midwest, from the 16-County region in Western Illinois, sometimes called Forgottonia. She grew up in a town of 3000, fell in love with musical theater and acting, and ultimately made her way to Chicago, where she now lives with her wife and their rescue dog, Roxie. And she's still a member of her rural community in Rushville and visits often. Whitney and Libby talk about Libby's desire to honor communities like the one she came from; supporting marginalized voices in rural; and their shared love of musical theater. This might be our first episode to include a singalong.
Before joining the Rural Assembly, Libby served as senior marketing manager for Bostrom, an association management firm in Chicago. She has more than 15 years of combined experience in the fields of nonprofit management, marketing, event planning, and user experience.
Libby earned her BFA from musical theater, from Millikin University and her MFA in acting from Western Illinois University. For regular listeners of this podcast, you know Libby's musical theater background is making Whitney all kinds of happy.
Tony Pipa on Reimagining Rural
Tony Pipa is part policy wonk, part story teller. He focuses on connecting with policy makers, local leaders, and community members to reimagine federal policy to fit the needs of rural America. He uses his wide range of expertise to uplift stories of progress and success in rural communities.
We talk with the native rural Pennsylvanian about the diversity of rural America, his new podcast, and bringing the rural story to Washington D.C.
Tony Pipa is a senior fellow in the Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution. Tony launched and leads the Reimagining Federal Rural Policy initative, which seeks to modernize and transform U.S. federal policy to enable community and economic development in underserved rural places across the U.S. He hosts the Reimagine Rural podcast, which profiles rural towns across America that are making progress on their efforts to thrive amid social and economic change.
Tony serves as the vice-chair of the board of directors of StriveTogether; as a senior associate research fellow in the Global Cities program at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies; and as a member of several task forces and advisory committees. He grew up in rural Elysburg, Pennsylvania, in the heart of anthracite coal country and attended Stanford University, graduated from Duke University, and earned a Master of Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Prisons, Coal and the Appalachian Economy with Judah Schept and Sylvia Ryerson
The United States is the world's largest incarcerator. Many of the prisons built since the 1990s are in rural places, particularly in Central Appalachia as an economic development strategy to replace the coal industry. The prison economy of Central Appalachia figures strongly into the work of both our guests, multimedia artist and organizer Sylvia Ryerson and professor and author Judah Schept.
Ryerson is a multimedia artist, organizer and PhD candidate in American Studies at Yale University. For over a decade, her work rooted at the intersection of scholarship, activism and art, has probed the overlapping crises of racialized mass incarceration, rural economic abandonment, and environmental destruction. She is also the director of a new documentary Calls from Home, which documents WMMT.FM's longstanding radio show that sends familial messages of love over public airwaves to reach people incarcerated in Central Appalachia. Schept is a professor in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. His most recent book is Coal, Cages, Crisis: The Rise of the Prison Economy in Central Appalachia. He has been active with numerous organizations and campaigns centered on decarceration, criminalization and abolition.
About our guests
Sylvia Ryerson is a PhD Candidate in American Studies at Yale University, with a Master’s concentration in the public humanities. Prior to graduate school she worked as an independent radio producer, and at the Appalshop media arts and education center in Whitesburg, Kentucky. There she served as a reporter and the director of public affairs programming, and co-directed Appalshop/WMMT-FM’s Hip Hop from the Hilltop & Calls from Home radio show, a nationally recognized weekly radio program broadcasting music and toll-free phone messages from family members to their loved ones incarcerated, and Making Connections News, a multimedia community storytelling project documenting efforts for a just transition from coal extraction. Her research questions build from this work, and are rooted at the intersection of scholarship, activism, and art.
Judah Schept is a Professor in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. He is the author of Coal, Cages, Crisis: The Rise of the Prison Economy in Central Appalachia (New York University Press, 2022) and Progressive Punishment: Job Loss, Jail Growth, and the Neoliberal Logic of Carceral Expansion (New York University Press, 2015. He is co-editor of The Jail is Everywhere: Fighting the New Geography of Mass Incarceration (Verso Books, 2024). He holds a PhD from Indiana University and a BA from Vassar College.
Everywhere Radio spotlight the good, scrappy and joyful ways rural people and their allies are building a more inclusive nation. Everywhere Radio is a production of the Rural Assembly. Get the Rural Assembly in your inbox: https://www.ruralassembly.org/newsletters
Bruce Poinsette: Telling the stories of Black rural Oregonians
Guest host Claire Carlson interviews Bruce Poinsette, an Oregon based writer, organizer, and educator whose work focuses on the Black experience in Oregon and the historic and current racial tensions that shape this experience. He hosts the YouTube series “The Blacktastic Adventure: A Virtual Exploration of Oregon’s Black Diaspora” and “The Bruce Poinsette Show” on 96.7 The Numberz FM, Portland’s Black radio station. Most recently, Bruce was the Community Storytelling Fellow for Oregon Humanities, an organization that facilitates conversations and publishers writing from the perspectives of Oregonians who have been ignored or marginalized. Claire and Bruce discuss what it's like to report on the people who have built rural America but have been excluded from its historical record, disrupt some of the misconceptions about living in both rural and urban Oregon, and talk about how to build more inclusive communities wherever you are. Get these interviews in your inbox: https://www.ruralassembly.org/newsletters About Bruce: Bruce Poinsette is a writer whose work is primarily based in the Portland Metro Area. A former reporter for the Skanner News Group, his writing has also appeared in the Oregonian, Street Roots, Oregon Humanities, and Eater PDX, as well as projects such as the Mercatus Collective and the Urban League of Portland’s State of Black Oregon 2015. He hosts the YouTube series “The Blacktastic Adventure: A Virtual Exploration of Oregon’s Black Diaspora” and “The Bruce Poinsette Show” on 96.7 The Numberz FM, Portland’s Black radio station. Poinsette also works with Respond to Racism LO, a grassroots anti-racism organization in his hometown of Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Dawn Luedtke: Representing rural in a diverse county
Our guest Dawn Luedtke is a council woman in Montgomery County, Maryland. Montgomery County is just outside of Washington D.C. yet it includes a surprising amount of rural land. In fact, it's home to the Agricultural Reserve, 93,000 acres preserved for farm land and rural space and hailed as one of the best examples of land use policy in the country. Luedtke was elected to the council in 2022 to represent a newly created district that includes much of Montgomery County's rural spaces. We talk with Luedtke about the opportunities to make these rural voices heard in a diverse county, improving mental health access, and her love of theater.
About Dawn Luedtke
Dawn Luedtke is a community advocate, former Assistant Attorney General, certified law enforcement trainer and expert on healthy schools and public safety serving her first term on the Montgomery County Council.
She was elected in 2022 to represent the newly created District 7, including Ashton, Brookeville, Damascus, Derwood, Laytonsville, Montgomery Village, Olney, Redland, Sandy Spring, and northeast Montgomery County.
Dawn is committed to providing world-class constituent service, fostering a business environment for local small businesses to thrive, preventing crime through enhanced community policing, improving behavioral health and crisis response, and protecting Montgomery County’s farmers, food, and Agricultural Reserve. She serves on the Council’s Public Safety and Health and Human Services Committees.
Dawn is a certified law enforcement trainer on school safety, implicit bias, hate crimes and other critical public safety issues, where she has taught and worked with law enforcement officials across Maryland. She served in the Office of the Attorney General of Maryland as Counsel to the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center, Maryland Center for School Safety, Food Systems Resiliency Council, and Active Assailant Interdisciplinary Work Group. She also advised State agencies on topics including open government and government operations, and oversaw the creation of the State’s Model Behavioral Threat Assessment Policy for K-12 Schools. Dawn also served as Chair of the Prevention Subcommittee of the Active Assailant Interdisciplinary Work Group, a member of the Behavioral Health Administration’s workgroup on involuntary commitment standards, the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems’ Crisis Response Work Group, and as a member of the Youth & Families Subcommittee of the Governor’s Commission to Study Mental & Behavioral Health.
A longtime theater performer and advocate, Dawn is Vice President of the Opera Baltimore Board of Directors, Secretary of the University of Pennsylvania Glee Club Graduate Club Board of Directors, and previously served on the Boards of Directors of the Olney Theatre Center, Transformation Theater, LLC, and the Bruce Montgomery Foundation for the Arts.
Dawn lives in Ashton with her husband Eric and four children.
Leading Rural Prosperity in Kansas and Wisconsin: Trisha Purdon + Beth Haskovec
What is an Office of Rural Prosperity? Both Kansas and Wisconsin have them, and on this episode we talk with the two women charged with running them: Beth Haskovec, from Wisconsin, and Trisha Purdon, of Kansas.
Statewide Offices of Rural Prosperity are dedicated to ensuring rural stakeholders are part of the equation, across policy, capital, resource management — and that rural people and places are connected to those programs and pathways that contribute to community prosperity.
About our guests
Beth Haskovec is the Director for the Office of Rural Prosperity within the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). In this role, Beth works to advance rural Wisconsin through interagency collaboration and resource navigation. Priorities of the Office include broadband access & accessibility, rural housing, ecosystem building at the local and regional levels, small business & entrepreneurship, and promoting rural culture through placemaking and tourism.
Beth comes to the Office of Rural Prosperity from LISC, one of the nation’s largest CDFIs, where she oversaw strategies and programs related to access to capital for small businesses across Rural America, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She brings a wealth of expertise in commercial real estate development, commercial corridor development, small business capital, entrepreneurship and initiatives at the intersection of arts and culture and economic development. Originally, Beth is from a one stop light county in rural Iowa. She brings this passion for rural communities and culture to her role as the Director of Rural Prosperity.
Trisha Purdon is the Director of the Office of Rural Prosperity in the Kansas Department of Commerce. She attended the University of Kansas where she earned a master’s degree in Public Administration with a focus on local government Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare with a focus on public policy. Trisha has worked as a rural economic developer in both city and county-level leadership roles for over a decade. She grew up in the small town of Kiowa, Kansas, and is a graduate of Chaparral High School in Anthony, Kansas.
From Ohio to Ukraine with Love and Music: A conversation with folk musician Brother Hill (Brett Hill)
Whitney Kimball Coe talks with Brother Hill (Brett Hill), folk musician, singer, songwriter, and humanitarian volunteer from southern Ohio, known for his dynamic voice, insightful lyricism, and engaging stage presence. Brother Hill performs as frontman in Appalachian folk-quintet “Hill Spirits” and also as American representative of the Ukrainian-Belarusian-American folk project “Slavalachia”, which has allied representatives of Slavic and American folk traditions together since 2019 to promote cultural solidarity and forge new bridges for creative cultural expression.
Hill visited eastern Ukraine delivering donations of medical supplies and performing for Ukrainian troops fighting on the frontlines as part of the “From Ohio With Love” campaign, which he founded with colleague Benya Stewart within the first week of the full-scale invasion in February 2022. To date the grassroots campaign has raised over $86,000 for Ukrainian causes, primarily through folk concerts in Ohio. Funds raised support the hand-delivery of CAT tourniquets and Advanced Bleed Control Kits to mobilized units across Ukraine.
Hill will be returning to Ukraine in May for another delivery of supplies, and to continue fortifying long-standing cultural support through performances across the country and collaborations with Ukrainian artists.
Besides his work abroad, Brett Hill is an active partner with United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary in Meigs County, Ohio, as member of their Deep Ecology Fellowship. Since receiving this fellowship in 2020, Hill and United Plant Savers have collaborated with West End Distillery in Athens, Ohio to craft Hill Spirits Elder Gin- a sustainably and locally sourced botanical gin, the proceeds of which ($5000 since July 2021) go to benefit American Ginseng preservation in southeast Ohio.
Hill has self-released three albums under the Brother Hill moniker (the Summoning of Brother Hill , the Dereliction of Brother Hill , and Blackfish ) as well as two albums with Hill Spirits (Omens EP , Hill Spirits ) and a full length self-titled album with folk alliance Slavalachia .
Released this Spring will be compilation album Three Gardens, featuring Slavalachia counterparts Benya Stewart and Siarzhuk Douhushau (of Belarus). The three began recording the compilation within two months of the invasion as a means of coping with the realities of war and separation from their Ukrainian bandmates who remained in Ukraine. It is a compilation of content varying from songs learned during their time in Ukraine, to original songs written about the war, to traditional Appalachian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian folk materials.
Filmmakers preserve stories from East Kentucky flood
Whitney Kimball Coe talks with filmmakers Dee Davis, Mimi Pickering, and Joel Cohen about their new half-hour documentary, East Kentucky Flood. They share why they felt compelled to gather and share stories of those who witnessed the July 2022 flooding that devastated the region that Davis and Pickering call home. "I think the intensity of the moment is powerful," Davis said. "People will be able to tell these stories for 50 years. They're not going to forget them. There is this urgency at the time, which is, 'I have seen something, mister, and I have to tell you this.' That's important to be someone who listens deeply to those stories because within them are just the basic components of being human."
The Center for Rural Strategies film tells the story of the flood by those who endured it. The stories reveal not just what happened July 2022, but what lies ahead for communities across East Kentucky. The half -hour program will premiere at 10 p.m. Wednesday, February 15, 2023, on KET, Kentucky's public television network, and will air other times throughout the month of February.
The video will be available for streaming on Thursday, February 16 at dailyyonder.com.
Learn more about our guests and the documentary at https://ruralassembly.org/podcasts/everywhere-radio-flood-doc/
From the Kenai Peninsula to Pippa Passes, Two Rural Young Leaders Paving the Way
On this episode, we talk with Jonathan Blair and Sam Schimmel about the work they’re doing to strengthen their rural communities in Appalachia and Alaska. Blair and Schimmel are two of three co-creators of an ongoing documentary media and public engagement initiative – American Creed: Citizen Power — that explores American idealism and activism from a range of young adult perspectives. American Creed: Citizen Power is the forthcoming follow-up to the 2018 Citizen Film PBS production American Creed.
To hear more from these extraordinary young adults, be sure to RSVP for Rural Assembly’s upcoming “Connecting Our Heartlands” event Jan. 19 to join the conversation with these young leaders and a panel of civic luminaries: David M. Kennedy (Stanford University Lane Center for the American West), Eric Liu (Citizen University) and Danielle Allen (Harvard University Safra Center for Ethics).
About our guests
- Sam Schimmel is a first-year law student at Georgetown University. Schimmel plans to use what he learns in law school to help his people negotiate a healthier, more sustainable economy that aligns with his community’s values and the need to protect the environment. At Connecting Our Heartlands, Schimmel will show his photo essay and discuss his Kenaitze Tribe’s movement to restore Indigenous rights to subsistence fishing and economic development in alignment with community values. (Click here to view his Daily Yonder photo essay "Salmon Tales: Subsistence on the Kenai Peninsula")
- Jonathan Blair lives, works, and studies at Alice Lloyd College, in Eastern Kentucky. He coordinates a work-study crew of about 60 people, mostly first-generation college students from rural Appalachia. Together with two of his crew members—Jacob Frazier and Carlos Villanueva—they document their connection to blue-collar work in and around the Appalachian coal industry, and they reflect on their hopes for the region. (Click here to view his Daily Yonder viewfinder article "Phantom of the Black Diamond")
Erickson Blakney: Telling the stories of the Mississippi Delta
Erickson "EB" Blakney grew up in Toledo, Ohio, but has a strong connection to the Mississippi Delta. A filmmaker, journalist, and philanthropy professional, Blakney talks with host Whitney Kimball Coe about his work in Mississippi, rural films, and his hope that that journalists and philanthropists will begin to focus on what the region's people have to offer.
A program officer with the New York-based The Pinkerton Foundation, Blakney's is also an award-winning writer and reporter having worked for Bloomberg and CBS News. A member of the National Press Club, Blakney is the co-founder, along with author and award-winning filmmaker Dr. Lee Quinby, of the True Delta Project which produces documentaries about the Delta region which air on Mississippi Public Broadcasting Television (MPB) and screen at film festivals around the country. His most recent documentary, Zip Code Matters (2021, produced in partnership with Sena Mourad Friedman and The Fair Housing Center-Toledo, examines racial and socioeconomic inequalities in health.
EB is a board trustee of the DreamYard Project, an arts and social justice organization in the Bronx. He plays a similar role on the board of the Clarksdale Animal Rescue Effort and Shelter (CARES) in Clarksdale, MS. Because of his filmmaking and philanthropic work in the rural Delta, he was invited to serve as a board member for The Center for Rural Strategies in Whitesburg, KY. Blakney also serves on the grant review and finance committees of The Needmor Fund. Founded in 1956 by Duane and Virginia Secor Stranahan, the Perrysburg, Ohio-based philanthropy, supports grass-roots groups organizing to bring about social and economic justice. Blakney is a graduate of Hobart College and Maumee Valley Country Day School in Toledo, Ohio.
Find the transcript at www.ruralassembly.org/podcasts/everywhere-radio-ericksonblakney
Talking about Rural Youth and Reproductive Justice with Student Activist Rebecca Stern
As we reach the end of a monumental year for reproductive justice, we talk with Rebecca Stern, a student activist and former Rural Assembly intern who spent her summer in Whitesburg, Ky. at The Center for Rural Strategies headquarters. Becca interviewed rural young people about their thoughts and concerns about reproductive justice following the reversal of Roe v. Wade. We talk with Becca about what she heard and we will be sharing those interviews and stories at www.ruralassembly.org.
Rebecca Stern is a second-year Robertson Scholar at UNC Chapel Hill studying Public Policy and Global Gender Studies. This past summer, she interned at the Center for Rural Strategies, mainly working with the Rural Assembly on rural policy and writing a bit for the Daily Yonder. Her main project was interviewing rural youth about reproductive health and access to contraceptives and sex education following the overturn of Roe vs. Wade. At UNC and Duke, Rebecca is the Campus Outreach Coordinator and Advocate at the Community Empowerment Fund (CEF), a Bryan Fellow, Penny Pilgrim George Women's Leadership Initiative Cohort Member, and the Tour Manager of the UNC Loreleis.
Dee Davis on Rural America and the Midterm Elections
We talk with Dee Davis, president of the Center for Rural Strategies, about results of the midterm elections and what's on the minds of rural voters. Read more about rural voting at www.dailyyonder.com.
About Dee Davis
Dee Davis is the founder and president of the Center for Rural Strategies. Dee has helped design and lead national public information campaigns on topics as diverse as commercial television programming and federal banking policy.
Dee began his media career in 1973 as a trainee at Appalshop, an arts and cultural center devoted to exploring Appalachian life and social issues in Whitesburg, Kentucky. As Appalshop's executive producer, the organization created more than 50 public TV documentaries, established a media training program for Appalachian youth, and launched initiatives that use media as a strategic tool in organization and development.
Dee is on the board of the Kentucky Historical Society; he is a member of the Rural Advisory Committee of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Fund for Innovative Television, and Feral Arts of Brisbane, Australia. He is also a member of the Institute for Rural Journalism’s national advisory board. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Institute for Work and the Economy. Dee is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship. Dee is also the former Chair of the board of directors of Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.
"Free Hill: Renewal and Rememory" a conversation with Xandr Brown
We talk with Xandr Brown, producer of the new exhibit "Free Hill: Renewal and Rememory," about the story of Free Hill, a community of free Black residents of Athens, Tennessee that was established before the 1840s and later demolished as part of urban renewal. Families that lived in the Free Hill area were displaced after phases of urban renewal, spearheaded by the City of Athens, which demolished their homes in the 60’s and 70’s to the benefit of Tennessee Wesleyan University. Through video, oral histories, and portraits, the exhibit "explores the relationship between place, personal memory, and identity as a way to challenge collective assumptions about democracy, freedom, and equality."
The exhibit is hosted by the Athens Area Council for the Arts (AACA) through December 12, 2022. An online multimedia version of the exhibit will be available soon at ruralassembly.org. Sign up for newsletters at www.ruralassembly.org/newsletters for more.
Xandr Brown is currently a multimedia producer with the Center for Rural Strategies. In 2018, she graduated from the University of Rochester in upstate New York with a BA in History and Communications with a minor in Environmental Humanities. Before reporting for the Daily Yonder she previously reported with hyperlocal newsrooms in Flint, Michigan. While trained as a journalist, she aspires to continue to do community engaged, multimedia exhibits based in the intersection of oral history, ethnography, and documentary.
Rural Monsters, Myths, and Legends with author Liz Carey
As a rural health care reporter, Liz Carey has spent much of the past two years writing about the pandemic. But one day, she received a press release about something other than Covid ... Big Foot. We talk with Liz about how that led to her new e-book "Rural Monsters, Myths, and Legends," an exploration of not only the cryptids themselves, but the impact they've had on communities and people — and how some rural towns are using these tales of alien encounters, lake monsters, and other legends as economic development strategies.
About the book
Across rural America — in its forested woods, its remote lakes, and its sprawling fields — there is plenty of room for the wild and weird to take root. Just beyond the gaze of “normal” existence, strange sightings and odd encounters have lingered in the minds and memories of many rural communities.
Contrary to what you might think, these stories are not simply silly or scary. Call them foolish or farfetched if you must, but they offer a valuable window into the unique culture and community life of places often unseen and under-appreciated.
Originally published in the Daily Yonder, we invite you to join us in this closer look at the cryptids of rural America. Let your imagination roam, welcome feelings of wonder or dread, and, if only for a moment, ponder the possibilities beyond what’s proven and known.
Rural Monsters, Myths and Legends takes a look at not just the tales from these remotes areas of the country, but what kind of an impact they've had on their communities and the people who experienced them. From alien encounters to tales of water dancing nymphs to evil witches set on revenge to beasts hiding in the mountains of Appalachia, walk with us through the farmland, the swamps, the desert roads and the chilly lake waters where the unknown and mysterious lurks just out of sight.
About Liz Carey
Liz Carey is a journalist, author and writing teacher living in Central Kentucky. A graduate of Miami University, she worked as a reporter for 20+ years and earned more than 30 awards for her writing and reporting before setting off on her own as a freelance writer. Currently, she writes about rural health, Appalachian culture, the transportation industry, workers’ compensation and Kentucky arts and entertainment. She started working for the Daily Yonder in 2018 writing a story about cast iron Dutch ovens before convincing them to give her more newsy stuff. Today, she serves as one of the Daily Yonder’s rural health reporters and on the growing rural mental health crisis, the rural opioid crisis, the rural health care system and rural electric vehicle systems.
From the frontlines of the 2022 Kentucky flood: Katie Myers and Jessica Shelton
Jessica Shelton and Katie Myers have been on the frontlines of responding to the flooding disaster in Eastern Kentucky in a variety of roles. We talk with them about their work and the region's recovery.
Jessica Shelton is the director of the Appalachian Media Institute at Appalshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky. We talk with her about her work as an organizer with the grassroots organization EKY Mutual Aid, which has been helping those directly impacted by the devastating floods that hit southeastern Kentucky in late July by meeting needs in real time and offering direct cash assistance.
Katie Myers is the economic transition reporter for the Ohio Valley ReSource and WMMT 88.7 FM in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Her work has also appeared on NPR and Inside Appalachia, and in Belt Magazine, Scalawag Magazine, the Daily Yonder, and others. We talk with Katie about reporting on the flood and her own experience waking up to the disaster.
To get these podcasts and more rural stories in your inbox, register at www.ruralassembly.org/newsletters
Melody Warnick and the importance of place (when we could live anywhere)
When we can work from anywhere, does place matter? That's the question award-winning writer Melody Warnick poses in her latest book, If You Could Live Anywhere: The Surprising Importance of Place in a Work-from-Anywhere World. We talk with Warnick about the book, her own life in Blacksburg, Virginia, and how to you choose where to live — and how to make a community feel like home.
More about Melody Warnick
Melody Warnick is the author of This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are, a book that explains the concept of place attachment and helps people fall in love with their town. Her second book, If You Could Live Anywhere: The Surprising Importance of Place in a Work-from-Anywhere World, helps location-independent people find the right place to achieve success and happiness.
Warnick has also written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Reader's Digest, Fast Company, The Guardian, Slate, Quartz, CityLab, Woman's Day, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, O: The Oprah Magazine, Medium, Livability, and many other publications. Learn more about melodywarnick.com
Tim Lampkin's Higher Purpose: Supporting Black ownership
Whitney talks with Tim Lampkin, co-founder and CEO of Higher Purpose Co, a 501(c)(3) economic justice nonprofit that works with Black residents to build wealth across Mississippi, specifically by supporting Black ownership and financial, cultural, and political power. Whitney and Tim discuss his return to Mississippi more than a decade ago, closing the racial wealth gap, and the powerful benefits of ownership.
Lampkin has over a decade of community development and entrepreneurship experience. He previously managed the racial equity program for the Mississippi Humanities Council, which won the National 2018 Schwartz prize. He also worked for Southern Bancorp Community Partners to implement multimillion dollar community initiatives and has advised rural entrepreneurs in several counties.
Learn more about the Rural Assembly by getting our newsletters in your inbox: https://www.ruralassembly.org/newsletter-subscribe
Tree Thieves: Author Lyndsie Bourgon examines crime and the search for identity in the North American woods
We welcome Lyndsie Bourgon, author of "Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America's Woods" to Everywhere Radio. Bourgon wanted to know more about how tree poaching affects forests like the one in her front yard. Her research led her to stories about our human quest for dignity and identity in the face of displacement and poverty. (Find the transcript and more on our episode page.)
Lyndsie Bourgon is a writer, researcher, oral historian, and 2018 National Geographic Explorer. She writes about the environment and its entanglement with history, culture, and identity, and her features have been published in The Atlantic, Smithsonian, the Guardian, the Oxford American, Aeon, The Walrus, Hazlitt, and elsewhere. Her first book, Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America’s Woods, came out in June 2022.
Everywhere Radio is a production of The Rural Assembly.
Get this podcast in your inbox, along with stories and news from rural leaders, allies, and their communities in our weekly Rural Assembly newsletter: https://www.ruralassembly.org/newsletters-subscribe.
Everywhere Radio's taking a summer break
We're taking a short break for the summer. Everywhere Radio will be back in August with more of the good, scrappy, joyful ways rural people are building a more inclusive nation. Until then, keep following The Rural Assembly's other work at https://www.ruralassembly.org. A new episode of our video series Everywhere Extra drops next week. It explores Native American representation in the media. We’ve got clips and interviews with some searing voices including writer and actor Bobby Wilson of Rutherford Falls and the hit series Reservation Dogs. You'll find that, plus video episodes of this season's podcasts, on our Youtube Channel. See you in August!
Hi everyone, it’s Whitney, checking in to let you know that Everywhere Radio is taking a summer break. You know what I’m talking about—we’re pausing our program in June, July, and early August to catch our breath, lean into new projects, travel to conferences and events and hopefully score some vacation time, too.
I hope all of you are getting the same opportunities to reconnect, recreate, and maybe recalibrate your work a little. Our staff also plans to use these summer months to reflect upon the work we’re doing in the world. We’re setting aside time to wrestle with questions like “What is ours to do in this season?” and “Why do we think building an inclusive nation is essential to the future of rural and urban places?” It feels important to sit with these big questions every so often, to make sure that everything we put out into the world—from Everywhere Radio to our virtual events to our email newsletters is responsive and true to the spirit of our call to be caring and courageous right now.
Just because we’re not in the recording studio however does not mean we aren’t creating spaces and content for you: There are lots of things to look forward to on the Rural Assembly platform this summer, especially, the premier of our newest episode of Everywhere Extra. The latest video drops the week of June 27. It’s a sort of mini documentary that explores Native American representation in the media. We’ve got clips and interviews with some searing voices including writer and actor Bobby Wilson of Rutherford Falls and the hit series Reservation Dogs.
We’ll also continue sending the latest news, stories and rural advocacy opportunities that you’ve come to expect via our email newsletters. If you’re not yet signed up, head over to ruralassembly.org and click the subscribe button.
If you’re looking for more video content, you can access all the videos from Rural Assembly Everywhere on our YouTube channel. There are hours there of programming featuring artists and poets, civic leaders and experts.
If you are looking for another podcast, check out The Yonder Report, a weekly podcast rounding up the latest rural news, produced by The Daily Yonder and public news service. You can listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
Author Neema Avashia on identity, relationships, and coming up queer and Indian in Appalachia
On this episode, we talk with Neema Avashia, author of "Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place," about her memoir, identity, finding your people, and growing up in West Virginia.
This interview was first recorded at Rural Assembly Everywhere, a virtual gathering of the Rural Assembly in May 2022. Avashia is interviewed by Skylar Baker-Jordan, Contributing Editor for Community Engagement at 100 Days in Appalachia.
For more rural content, subscribe to Rural Assembly newsletter: https://ruralassembly.org/newsletter-subscribe
The Rural Assembly is a movement of people and organizations devoted to building a stronger, more vibrant rural America. This interview was first aired at Rural Assembly Everywhere, our virtual festival for rural advocates and the rural-curious, listeners and leaders, neighbors and admirers.
After Maus: Book Bans and Building an Inclusive Nation in Tennessee and Beyond
On this episode of Everywhere Radio, a group of neighbors from McMinn County, Tennessee, discuss book banning and how it played out in their own community when the school board pulled Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "Maus" from the 8th grade curriculum. They talk about the book ban in McMinn as indicative of a broader national trend, how their community is addressing it, and what they feel is truly at stake in this moment.
Join Whitney Kimball-Coe, Vice President of National Programs Center for Rural Strategies, and her McMinn County, Tenn., neighbors: Stephen Dick, Austin Sauerbrei, Alex Sharp, Liv Cook, Cynthia McCowan and Dr. Patricia Waters.
Everywhere Radio, hosted by Whitney Kimball Coe, features rural leaders and allies and spotlights the good, scrappy, joyful ways rural people are building a more inclusive nation. New episodes of the podcast release every other Thursday.
Everywhere Radio is a production of the Rural Assembly, a program of the nonprofit Center for Rural Strategies, which also publishes the Daily Yonder.
Everywhere Radio: https://www.ruralassembly.org/podcasts
Subscribe to Rural Assembly: https://www.ruralassembly.org/newsletter-subscribe
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YouTube Commentator Beau of the Fifth Column on Fact, Opinion, and the Democracy In Between
This week on Everywhere Radio, Xandr Brown, multimedia producer at the Daily Yonder, speaks with Beau of the Fifth Column. A portion of this conversation first aired as part of the Rural Assembly Everywhere virtual festival that took place on May 10 and 11, 2022. We are pleased to bring you the full conversation in podcast form here on Everywhere Radio.
Since starting his channel three years ago, Beau of the Fifth Column has grown his YouTube audience to more than half a million subscribers, connecting with folks from all walks of life and political identities. It isn't surprising given that he doesn't shy away from most any topic, whether it's his almost hourly updates about the Ukraine and Russian conflict to more general sociopolitical topics like political polarization, the misappropriated words of George Orwell, or gun rights and law enforcement in the United States. When you're watching Beau of the Fifth Column, you know you're not just watching to hear what you already know. You're watching to see him illuminate a topic through his variety of experiences. You're there for his voice. In that spirit, if you're already familiar with his channel or this is your first time hearing about it, we hope you enjoy this conversation between Xandr and Beau.
Rural Assembly Everywhere: Join us on the front porch!
The Rural Assembly's Whitney Kimball Coe and Tracy Staley talk all things Rural Assembly Everywhere — the Assembly's virtual gathering coming May 10 and 11th. Learn what we're looking forward to, you can connect with other rural advocates during the conference, and more during this special episode of Everywhere Radio.
⭐️ Register for Rural Assembly Everywhere at https://www.crowdcast.io/e/rural-assembly-2022
Bridging the rural-urban divide with Anthony Flaccavento
We talk with Anthony Flaccavento about his work in bridging the rural-urban divide, coming from Baltimore to Appalachia, and why farming keeps him humble. Listen to Everywhere Radio wherever you stream podcasts. Flaccavento is the co-founder of RUBI, the Rural-Urban Bridge Initiative.
Flaccavento is also farmer and rural development consultant from Abingdon, Virginia in the heart of the Appalachian Coalfields. The Founder of Appalachian Sustainable Development, Flaccavento has focused most of his work over the past four decades on building healthier food systems and more diverse, locally rooted economies in Appalchia and around the world. His consulting firm, SCALE, Inc, works with communities across the nation to evaluate, plan and build healthier farm and food systems and local economies.
Flaccavento is the author of Building a Healthy Economy from the Bottom Up: Harnessing Real World Experience for Transformative Change (University Press of Kentucky, 2016), along with “Healthy Food Systems: A Toolkit for Building Value Chains” (self-published) and scores of articles and op-eds. He writes and speaks regularly on rural development, bottom up economics, overcoming the rural-urban divide and and a range of political and cultural issues. He has taught course on these topics at Future Generations University, Emory & Henry College and community colleges.
Flaccavento was the Democratic Candidate for the U.S. House in 2018, and remains involved in trying to impact politics and the public debate. He is the co-founder of RUBI, the Rural-Urban Bridge Initiative, through which he works with colleagues to lead public forums and trainings designed to help people understand and begin to overcome the rural-urban divide. He has also compiled The Rural-Urban Divide: A Guidebook to Understanding the Problem and Forging Solutions. He is married to Laurel, a retired public school teacher, and has three terrific grown children.
Cynthia McCowan: Lifting Black voices and history in Athens, Tennessee
Our guest on Everywhere Radio is Cynthia McCowan, a community activist and connector. She's an advocate for black lives in Athens, Tennessee, and is spearheading a project to ensure black histories and experiences are acknowledged in this small rural town.
Writing Her Own Story in Rural Politics with Teri Carter
Our guest Teri Carter writes about rural politics, and now she's living them. Carter talks with Everywhere Radio about why she's a progressive running as a Republican for magistrate in her Kentucky county, how she stays in relationship with neighbors, and how she became a political writer.
About the guest: Carter lives in Anderson County, Kentucky, where she writes about rural politics. You can find her work at the Lexington Herald-Leader, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Daily Yonder. She has a BA in English from the University of Minnesota and an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from San Jose State University. She teaches at The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington, Kentucky, and is working on a book about stepfamilies.
About the podcast: Everywhere Radio, hosted by Whitney Kimball Coe, features rural leaders and allies spotlighting the good, scrappy, joyful ways rural people are building a more inclusive nation. Everywhere Radio is produced by the Rural Assembly.
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About this episode: https://www.ruralassembly.org/podcasts/everywhere-radio-teri-carter
From Arkansas to Alaska: Empowering Women Everywhere with Starre Haas
On this episode of Everywhere Radio, we talk with Starre Haas, an advocate for women’s leadership and empowerment, mother, wife, and entrepreneur. We talk with Starre about her journey from accounting to women’s empowerment and politics and what it has meant to build a new community and life with her family in Hope, Alaska. Formerly with VoteRunLead, Starre is the founder and CEO of Community Connections Now, a company that focuses on empowering women through networking and leadership development and of the nonprofit, The Everyday Bold Woman, formed to spotlight and provide leadership training and financial resources to women, particularly mothers and homemakers, women who have been suffering as a result of the pandemic.
Everywhere Radio is a production of the Rural Assembly. Learn more at rural assembly.org/podcasts.
You Can Go Home Again with Writer Skylar Baker-Jordan
Skylar Baker-Jordan is a freelance writer from Appalachia, covering topics from British politics to LGBTQ culture in rural America. Skylar and Whitney talk about Skylar's journey as "an upwardly mobile and openly gay" person who chose to return to rural America to make a difference in his own community.
Talking Rural News and More with Daily Yonder Editor Tim Marema
Everywhere Radio returns for season two! Host Whitney Kimball Coe talks with Daily Yonder Editor Tim Marema about the role news journalism plays in a democracy, how the pandemic has affected Daily Yonder coverage, and why Reservation Dogs is one of the best shows, ever.
A Conversation with "The Seed Keeper"Author Diane Wilson
On this episode, we're sharing a conversation with author Diane Wilson (Dakota). Wilson sat down with Rural Assembly Program Associate Tyler Owens during Rural Women Everywhere to talk about Wilson’s most recent book "The Seed Keeper," which follows a Dakota family's struggle to preserve their way of life, and their sacrifices to protect what matters most. During this conversation Owens and Wilson explore where Wilson finds her inspiration, the importance of continuing a tradition of storytelling, and the importance of connection to the earth.
Diane Wilson is a writer, speaker, and editor, who has published two award-winning books, as well as essays in numerous publications. Her new novel, The Seed Keeper, was published by Milkweed Editions in March.
Find the transcript and a full video of this interview at ruralassembly.org/podcasts/everywhere-radio-diane-wilson.
Tending Art and the Land with Organic Farmer and Artist Nikiko Masumoto
This week on Everywhere Radio, Whitney welcomes Nikiko Masumoto, organic farmer, memory keeper, and artist. Nikiko is Yonsei, a fourth-generation Japanese American, and works the same soil her great-grandparents worked in California. In an agricultural world where 86 percent of farmers are men, most landowners are white, and few are queer, she employs art and creativity to access her power as an organic farmer. Whitney and Nikiko discuss making art, family history, farming, and seeking wholeness rather than perfection.
Knowing Your Worth with Norma Flores López and Gladys Godinez
This episode of Everywhere Radio features a conversation between Gladys Godinez and Norma Flores López, Chief Programs Officer for Justice for Migrant Women. From working in the fields at the age of 12 to advocating for Immigrants, Latine/x/os and migrant farmworkers in Washington D.C. today, Norma's story is inspiring. This episode, which first aired during Rural Women Everywhere, is brought to you by the Rural Assembly, Justice for Migrant Women, and United by Culture Media. Godinez recorded this interview for both Everywhere Radio and her own podcast, Courageous Mujer.
Bringing Broadband Internet to the Fields with Modern Farmer Meagan Kaiser
Connecting rural America to high-speed internet isn’t just about Zoom meetings and remote work. Reliable access can also make or break a farming operation. Just ask Meagan Kaiser of Kaiser Family Farms in Carrolton, Missouri. Meagan farms corn and soybeans along with her husband Marc, and she’s also a soil scientist and chief operating officer at Perry Agricultural Laboratory, Inc. She recently contributed to a comprehensive report that tells the story of broadband as an indispensable tool for farmers and the communities they serve. The report was produced by the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society and the United Soybean Board, where Kaiser is a member of the executive committee. This week on Everywhere Radio, Whitney talks to Meagan to learn about her journey into farming and soil science, and to find out what it’s like chatting with Vice President Kamala Harris.
Journalist Aallyah Wright on Amplifying Rural Stories and Advancing Equity
On this episode, Whitney talks with journalist Aallyah Wright about her journey to journalism, reporting on issues of labor, race, and equity in her native Mississippi. Wright reports on rural affairs and leads race and equity coverage for Stateline. Previously, Aallyah worked for Mississippi Today, a digital nonprofit newsroom, covering K-12 education and government in the Mississippi Delta—her home region. As a member of the Delta Bureau, she investigated Mississippi’s teacher shortage, finding it was six times worse than in 1998 when the Mississippi legislature passed a bill to alleviate the crisis. She is a 2020 Mississippi Humanities Council Preserver of Mississippi Culture Award recipient, 2019 StoryWorks Theater Fellow, and 2018 Educating Children in Mississippi Fellow at the Hechinger Report. Wright graduated from Delta State University with a bachelor’s in journalism and minors in communication and theater.
The Future of Work in Rural America with Labor Leader Sandy Pope
On this episode of Everywhere Radio, Whitney talks with labor veteran Sandy Pope. Today, Pope is the Bargaining Director for the Office of Professional Employees International Union or OPEIU, an organization that represents more than 110,000 employees nationwide. With more than three decades of union organizing experience, Pope is perhaps best known for her 2010 campaign for general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, when she ran against a three-term incumbent, who happened to be the son of Jimmy Hoffa. Whitney and Sandy talk about what the future holds for rural workers — whether they're working in meatpacking, trucking, or manufacturing — as well as the communities that rely upon them.
A Rural Love Story with Sarah and Jan Pytalski
This week on Everywhere Radio, Whitney talks with Sarah and Jan Pytalski, our first rural husband and wife team. Sarah is a senior associate at the global communications firm Burness, where she supports rural health equity work. And Jan is an associate editor at the Daily Yonder, and a colleague of Whitney's at the Center for Rural Strategies, which publishes the Yonder and produces this podcast. The three talk about yearning for rural life, honoring connections between people and the land, and much more.
"The Rural Black Doula" Jazzmine Brooks on Empowering Rural Moms
This week, guest host Adilia Watson talks with Jazzmine Brooks, "The Rural Black Doula," about advocacy, mental health, and how doulas can improve birth outcomes in rural places.
Keeping Watch Over Our Rural Watersheds with River Hero Nelson Brooke
This week, guest host Adilia Watson talks with Nelson Brooke, a Riverkeeper from rural Alabama. In that role, Nelson investigates pollution on the Black Warrior River and takes pictures of illegal polluting activity. His work was recognized by the Alabama River Alliance when they named him the 2010 Alabama River Hero. Don't miss this episode of Everywhere Radio, as we learn about the impressive biodiversity of rural Alabama and the importance of protecting our natural resources.
The Rural Homecomer's Journey with LB Prevette and Michael Cooper
This week, Whitney talks with two young leaders investing their time and energy to create spaces, events, and intentional moments that foster community. LB Prevette is the Senior Community Partnerships Manager for the national nonprofit Lead for America. Michael Cooper is an attorney and journalist (and mayoral candidate) whose writing has appeared in a variety of local, state, and national publications. For this Everywhere Radio conversation, the trio talk about their work, shared Appalachian roots, and the kinds of people you want to go to a music festival and share moonshine with.
Celebrating Asian Americans' Contributions in Rural America with Stephen Gong
Whitney talks with Stephen Gong, Executive Director of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), about making the experiences and contributions of Asian Americans visible in rural communities.
Political Scientist Hahrie Han on Democracy in a Changing Nation
This week on Everywhere Radio, Whitney talks with political scientist and author Hahrie Han about democracy in a changing nation and what the rural “agora” means in the 21st century. As a professor and faculty director at John Hopkins University, Han studies civic and political participation, social movements, collective action, and organizing, particularly as it pertains to democratic revitalization.
Rev. Claire Brown on Answering the Call to the Front Lines of Social Healing
Reverend Claire Brown is an Episcopal priest, writer, facilitator, wife, and mama living and ministering in rural Tennessee. She talks with Whitney about how rural churches and faith communities are called to show up on the front lines of social healing work in this moment — facing the challenges of the pandemic, responding to calls for social and racial justice, and grappling with how we build more just and inclusive communities.
Jeff Eastman on Covid Vaccines and Getting Care to People in Need
This week, Whitney checks in with her neighbor Jeff Eastman, who is also CEO of the nonprofit Remote Area Medical (RAM). Whitney and Jeff discuss RAM's efforts to provide Covid-19 vaccines at its pop-up clinics, and how to overcome vaccine hesitancy in rural areas.
Krista Tippett on Creating the Conversations You Want to Hear
This week, Whitney welcomes Krista Tippett, the founder and CEO of The On Being Project and host of On Being. Whitney and Krista discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, the fiction of blue and red states, developing moral imagination, and creating the conversations you want to be hearing.
The Roundabout Path to the Prairie with Accidental Rancher Eliza Blue
This week, Whitney talks with Eliza Blue, a shepherd, writer, and folk singer who lives on a ranch in South Dakota with her husband and two children. The ranch has been in her husband's family for five generations, but Eliza took a more circuitous route to South Dakota. She is a contributing columnist to our media partner, the Daily Yonder, and calls herself the "Accidental Rancher." Whitney and Eliza talk about the gift of outsider status and how a sabbatical from the city turned into life on the prairie.
Seeking the Heartbeat of "Our Towns" with Deb and James Fallows
You'll find the award-winning writing of Deb and James Fallows in publications across the web, from The Atlantic to National Geographic and more. Together, they are the authors of the bestselling book, "Our Towns: A 100,000 Mile Journey Into the Heart of America," now a documentary film on HBO. This week, Deb and James talk with Whitney about showing up and finding hope while telling the complex stories of America's small towns.
Solving Problems and Telling Stories with Harry Gottlieb and Kiran Singh Sirah
This special episode of Everywhere Radio features two speakers set for April's Rural Assembly Everywhere virtual festival: First, Harry Gottlieb, founder of Jackbox Games and a new organization called Unify America, talks with Whitney about making the US a country of problem solvers. Then, Kiran Singh Sirah, president of the International Storytelling Center, talks with Whitney about the healing power of stories, the art of the "porch sit," and the glory of Saint Dolly.
Pasito a Pasito: The Immigrant Journey in Rural America with Gladys Godinez
How did planning for a potential ICE raid lead to a festival celebrating immigrant communities in rural Nebraska? Hear this and other stories about living as an immigrant in rural America as community organizer Gladys Godinez and host Whitney Kimball Coe discuss the importance of inclusion, welcoming, and being seen.
Talking Inclusion and Belonging with Wendy Feliz from the American Immigration Council
For the inaugural episode of Everywhere Radio, Whitney interviews Wendy Feliz, the Founding Director of the Center for Inclusion and Belonging at the American Immigration Council. Whitney and Wendy talk about building common purpose between new immigrant communities and long-time rural residents, the prospects for progress on national immigration policy, the importance of welcoming and inclusion, and much more.