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Kellogg Foundation Accepting Applications for Rural People, Rural Policy Initiative

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s (www.wkkf.org) Rural People, Rural Policy (www.wkkf.org/rprp/) is a new multi-year national initiative designed to energize and equip rural organizations and networks to shape policy that will improve the lives of rural people and the vitality of rural communities. Complete program information, an FAQ, and application instructions are available from the WKKF Rural People, Rural Policy Web site. The deadline for applications is February 20, 2006. Or to read more about this grant, click on the link below.

One of the primary components of the initiative is Regional Rural Policy Networks. Regional Rural Policy Networks are a set of selected organizations from four specific geographic regions and one “at-large” region in the United States. Network organizations will engage in a multi-year process designed to help develop their individual and collective strategies, skills, and efforts to improve the impact of public and private policy on rural people and rural places. Starting this year, RPRP will recruit a cohort of five organizations from each region to take part in the initiative. Any nonprofit organization seeking to improve policy that affects rural people and rural places may apply to participate in a Regional Rural Policy Network. This includes organizations working in economic development, education, community philanthropy, health, or other issues critical to the vitality and sustainability of rural life. Organizations that seek to participate may be anywhere on a spectrum from small to large, focused on one community or across state lines, targeted on a single issue or a range of issues, or young and learning to highly experienced. Four Regional Rural Policy Networks will be based in specific regions where the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has invested considerable resources in recent years. These four regions are: 1) Central Appalachia (i.e., West Virginia and the Appalachian counties of Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia); 2) the Mid South (Louisiana,Arkansas, and Mississippi; 3) the Midwest/Great Plains (Nebraska, Montana, and North and South Dakota); and 4) the Southwest (New Mexico and Arizona). Organizations that are not based in these eligible regions but that consider themselves to be very connected to one of these regions may make a case to be included in that network. In addition, the foundation is considering organizing one At-Large Network to include up to five organizations that meet all the criteria for participation but are from outside the four specified geographic regions. Organizations selected in the first year of the program will each receive a grant commitment from WKKF totaling 100,000 over five years. Funds may be used for salary, travel, and other costs associated with strengthening the organization’s capacity to engage in rural policy decisions. In the first year of participation, organizations will engage in three peer-learning sessions that include all participating organizations nationwide.

Amy Lang
Amy Lang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia. She wrote her dissertation on British Columbia’s groundbreaking Citizens’ Assembly process, and is currently doing follow-up research on the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly.

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