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Leaders are the essence of small towns and rural communities. The success or failure of any housing, community or economic development efforts in the places we call home often rests upon the level of engagement and investment of local citizen leaders. Yet, in so many communities I work in across South Dakota there is an invisible divide holding back the development of a strong leadership base. I hear experienced leaders saying, “Young people just don’t want to be involved in the community!” and I hear emerging leaders saying, “The people in charge won’t let us try anything new!”
So, I am asking you, “How can we empower more people to lead in our rural communities?”
To begin searching for a solution to this question, I want to help you understand two community leadership systems that exist:
Most community leadership systems currently operate in … Read More »
Story by Carey Grosdidier, Freelance Writer
Maybe it was the timing. Maybe it was the event. Maybe it was a little bit of both.
At RuralX, we’d like to think the connection made between Angela Tewalt of Sioux Falls and Barry Zephier of Flandreau was by design. One of the main objectives of RuralX is to bring rural “thinkers and doers” together in powerful ways. While the two had met before, Angela and Barry were given the opportunity to have a deeper conversation at RuralX during an Open X forum hosted by Vince Two Eagles.
“I didn’t expect to find so many opportunities to talk about native and non-native relations at RuralX,” said Angela. “I was sensitive to the topic because of my recent work as a freelance writer, so I joined a group discussion of about 15-20 people. We had an amazing … Read More »