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Rural Policymaking

Resources to advance rural prosperity & racial equity

Fact Sheet
Good Governance

Resilience and ingenuity are hallmarks of rural communities, stemming from their unique cultural and social histories. Given the diversity and varied strengths in rural places, policy solutions need to be tailored to the conditions and lived experiences of people in those communities.

We have created a suite of resources to support local and state policymakers, community organizations, and changemakers in advancing racial equity and rural prosperity across the United States. These resources are part of the Toward Better Rural Futures project, which aims to foster greater collaboration and alignment across local, regional, and state levels of government, equipping leaders with the tools and knowledge to fundamentally shift power, opportunity, and resources in order to create healthy rural places where everyone can thrive.

Increasing meaningful participation in decision making for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) in rural places and decreasing place, race, and class divides are essential to achieving rural prosperity for all. We designed our resources to identify policies that have the highest potential to drive these impacts.

Strategy Brief: Advancing Racial Equity in Rural Communities

Advancing Racial Equity in Rural Communities

Our strategy brief Advancing Racial Equity in Rural Communities: Legal & Policy Strategies to Support Opportunity, Health & Justice aims to deepen understanding among state and local policymakers seeking to address the systemic and structural barriers that perpetuate inequities in rural communities. Developed in partnership with The Praxis Project, this brief will aid changemakers in exploring strategies to advance equity, opportunity, and health for rural residents.


Strategy Brief: Advancing Rural Prosperity

Advancing Rural Prosperity Strategy Brief

Developed by ChangeLab Solutions in partnership with The Praxis Project, our strategy brief Advancing Rural Prosperity: Policy Strategies to Support Equitable Development in Rural Communities will guide leaders in promoting equitable economic development in rural places across the country. The brief offers strategies that have the highest potential to meaningfully affect rural BIPOC communities experiencing persistent poverty. This resource is for state, local, and tribal policymakers; grassroots and community-based organizations; nonprofits; and philanthropic organizations interested in wealth building and place-based development.

Case Studies: Rural Policymaking in Action

Rural Policymaking in Action

Our case studies identify key state policy efforts that model strategic action by state governments. The case studies focus on workforce development, broadband connectivity, housing development, economic prosperity, and Medicaid expansion. Rural Policymaking in Action: Highlighting State Actions to Advance Rural Prosperity & Equity was created to help policymakers and state and local leaders generate new policymaking approaches that will benefit rural BIPOC communities.


Policy Table: State & Local Policies with Potential to Advance Racial Equity & Rural Prosperity

This policy assessment table is designed as a menu for local and state policymakers and community leaders who want to understand the rural policymaking landscape and gain insight into opportunities to advance equity in rural places. The table is a conversation starter that communities can use to think through existing policy actions that center BIPOC communities, promote equitable development, and address structural discrimination.