A Network of Community Builders and Activists
RDLN strengthens rural people, organizations, and communities at the same time. It supports community-based development in poor rural areas through hands-on projects, education, leadership development, and networking. You may help one of us earn a degree. You may help us help small farmers, farmworkers, rural entrepreneurs or others working in other aspects of rural community development.
Online Auction Led by Grassroots Leaders inspired by Shirley Sherrod!
Members of the RDLN Network, including Board, staff, and participants have joined in a grassroots network fundraising campaign to help RDLN help rural people, organizations, and communities. We were inspired by the gift of New Communities, Inc., which received a substantial settlement through the Minority Farmers law suit. New Communities made a substantial contribution to RDLN in recognition of our work in nurturing emerging rural leaders, creating understanding and exchange among diverse rural community builders and activists, and creating learner-centered, community-based educational opportunities. Shirley Sherrod, one of the founders of New Communities, is a graduate of our program and former vice chair of our board. She earned her master's degree from Antioch through RDLN and launched a resource center for small farmers in Georgia as her RDLN Field Project. This work was done under the umbrella of her RDLN Sponsoring Organization, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives. As the world knows, she was falsely accused of racism against a white farm family and forced to resign her position as Georgia Director of Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She was quickly exonerated and acclaimed, and we are proud of her grace and strength through this ordeal, as well as her life-long dedication and accomplishment in rural community development. Our goal is to match the generosity of New Communities. So far, we have raised funds through an "ask" exercise and silent auction at our last Assembly, a ranch getaway auction at the recent Housing Assistance Council conference, a letter-writing campaign, and some online "birthday tributes," for example. Committee members include Mily Treviño-Sauceda (chair), Anita LaRan, Twila Martin-Kekahbah, Nancy Gaynor, Geri Hewankorn, and Meredith McGee.