Next Stop in the #RuralPride Summit Series: Lost River, WV

Jul 2014

Rural Summit - Lost River, WV

The True Colors Fund is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights to host a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) summit as part of the #RuralPride Campaign in Lost River, July 11.

The #RuralPride campaign challenges the stereotype that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people only live in metropolitan areas and raises awareness of the particular issues faced by those living in rural communities, including increased rates of economic insecurity, lack of family and nondiscrimination protections, and the heightened vulnerabilities to rural gay and transgender youth and people of color.

“We are excited to host the second in series of summits aimed at highlighting the experiences of LGBT people living in rural America,” said Dr. Joe Leonard, USDA Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with this community in the future and ensuring that USDA continues to serve all rural people and families.”

The centerpiece of the campaign is a series of day-long summits in rural communities across the country.  The Guesthouse Lost River is the second stop in the series, offering an opportunity for information sharing relating to the public.

“These summits will give us a chance to focus on the unique needs of the rural LGBT community, highlight the important federal policy efforts underway to protect this community, and identify next steps to ensure all rural communities have access to the resources they need to thrive,” said Ashlee Davis, Campaign Project Manager.

Partnering with the National Center of Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and The True Colors Fund, USDA launched the #RuralPride campaign in June.  The campaign is designed to elevate the voices of the gay and transgender community living in rural America.  Issues ranging from rural housing loans, community facility grants and bullying will be discussed. Each series will also include a strong presence from local organizations sharing USDA’s dedication to serving rural America.

“Eastern WV Community and Technical College promotes a broad sense of community that breaks down barriers and encourages collaborative attitudes and action,” Dr. Chuck Terrell, President. “The college collaborates and partners with public schools, other educational providers, business and industry, labor, government, and arts and cultural organizations to serve students, support economic and community development, and enhance opportunities for cultural growth.  The LGBT Rural Summit Series aligns with Eastern’s commitment to opportunity, quality teaching, lifelong learning, integrity and partnerships.”

The summit is an all day, free event open to the public at the Guesthouse Lost River, 288 Settlers Valley Way, Lost River from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Information booths will be present for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Rural Development and Farm Services Agencies among others.


Check out the recap from the first stop in Greensboro, NC.