Rubinger Fellow Juanita Woods is a community development practitioner and city council member in Monroe, LA who specializes in helping people skill up to take on living-wage jobs with local employers. She spoke with LISC about her fellowship project to provide apprenticeships for young people, the challenges of wealth-building in historically underserved communities, and the inspiration she gets from empowering youth on their life journeys.
In an interview with Shelterforce editor Miriam Axel-Lute, Jim King of FAHE in Appalachia and Bill Bynum of HOPE in the Mississippi Delta, two longtime LISC partners, discuss the challenge of persistent poverty in rural communities. Investing in rural areas—and dispelling stereotypes about them—they argue, is critical for the health of the entire country.
As our country celebrates LGBTQ pride, we're focusing on some of the challenges for LGBTQ people living in rural America. Community developers are in a key position to support LGBTQ rural residents as part of our work helping build flourishing and inclusive communities.
Few people in the world of community development got their start as early in life as Lahela Williams, a 2019 Rubinger Fellow who serves as the deputy director for Hawaiian Community Assets. Williams was barely a teen when she joined the board of her homestead association, a group that promoted safety, education and other quality-of-life issues for the Native community where she grew up on the island of O’ahu. That first job helped lay the foundation of a career dedicated to nurturing Hawaiian community leadership, as well as financial and personal empowerment for her fellow islanders.
When natural disasters strike—as they increasingly have—there are profound differences between response and recovery in rural areas and urban ones. On the eve of the annual Rural LISC seminar (this year in Monticello, New York, June 4-7), vice president and Rural LISC director Suzanne Anarde published an article in Shelterforce about helping community-based organizations better respond when disaster hits, boost rural resilience, and support communities in preparing before disasters befall them.