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Fostering #RuralPride in Jackson, Mississippi

Ashlee Davis, USDA, discusses USDA’s gender-inclusive policies at the Jackson summit. Photo by Imani Khayyam, Jackson Free Press.

In August, the LGBT Rural Summit Series dropped by Jackson, Mississippi, continuing its tradition of spreading information, federal policy updates, and messages of acceptance to rural America.

The Jackson Free Press covered the event and its implications in a recent article:

Ashlee Davis wants members of the LGBT community to know that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will not discriminate against them.

Davis, who runs the National LGBT Rural Summit Series, is trying to help get the word out that “gender identity” and “gender expression” are now part of all the department’s anti-discriminatory policies. The USDA’s programs are typically marketed to farmers or agricultural workers in rural America but are available to everyone.

“We are trying very hard to change people’s mindsets,” Davis said.

“When (people) hear ‘rural America,’ I don’t want them to think that means one type of person: a white, rich male.”

To communicate the change, Davis coordinated the LGBT Rural Summit event Friday at Millsaps College to facilitate conversations for the LGBT community in Mississippi and to provide awareness of grants available to supportive organizations and community members. The funds can help with a variety of needs, from affordable housing to business grants that can be used to fund facilities and programs simply because they are in a rural or underdeveloped part of the country.

Get the full story here.

The True Colors Fund is proud to partner with USDA, the White House, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights on the LGBT Rural Summit Series. Interested in hearing even more? We’ll be discussing these efforts at our Forty to None Summit in Houston this September! Join us!

Do you have #RuralPride? Spread the love on Facebook and Twitter!


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