Thank you to the National Rural Education Association for sharing this opportunity with us, and to the Virginia Tech School of Education and American Educational Research Association for hosting this crucial series of frank conversations. Advancing Equity in Rural Education was also created in partnership with the Eastern Carolina University Rural Education Institute, the National Rural Education Association, Southern Oregon University, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Education.
Rural is not a monolith. Often the way in which we talk about rural spaces can easily collapse the beautiful diversity of places and peoples into a handful of inaccurate caricatures. Seeking and sharing narratives that expand the notion of rural by promoting the multitudes of different lived experiences outside of urban centers is one step toward ensuring an inclusive and representative dialogue. This is imperative for the education sphere, and Rural Schools Collaborative, because building a truly sustainable and resilient rural school system requires that we listen to, elevate, and incorporate the stories of People of Color, Indigenous Communities, Queer and Trans folks, and all Historically Underrepresented People. By doing so, not only will we better understand the full array of perspectives in our schools, but we will also begin building a teacher and school leader workforce reflective of the communities they serve.
Knowing just where to begin that process of creating inclusive school spaces can be daunting. However, many fantastic organizations actively produce quality content ready-made for the rural setting. One such resource is the Advancing Equity in Rural Education Webinar Series, hosted by the Virginia Tech School of Education and the American Educational Research Association. The series invites leading academic and practitioner experts representing a plurality of rural voices to sit on topical panels discussing equity, inclusion, and justice in research and pedagogy. We invite you to dedicate a moment of your time to earnestly listen to the stories, experiences, and advice shared in each of these videos. The first step to realizing robust rural schools and community vitality, is first by listening and second by collaborating. Our hope is that this series inspires you, as it did us, to reengage with your whole community in support of our rural schools:
- Critical Race Theory & Rural Education (Webinar)
- Equity & Justice for Queer and Trans* Rural Students and Educators (Webinar)
- Engaged Research & Practice in Rural Spaces: Centering Ethics, Equity, and Justice (Webinar)
- Advancing Equity in Rural Education (Webinar)
- Black Rural Education (Webinar)
- Indigenous Rural Education (Webinar)
- Latinx Rural Education (Webinar)
- Policy, Practices, and Partnerships for Advancing Equity in Rural Education (Webinar)
Additionally, Dr. Amy Azano, who helps oversee Virginia Tech’s new Center for Rural Education, also recently spoke at the Teton Science Schools Place-based Symposium about the process of grappling with equity and inclusion in our rural home towns. You can watch her keynote address here:
2022 TSS Place-based Education Symposium - Keynote Speaker Amy Azano
Listen to Dr. Amy Azano's keynote address about grappling with equity and inclusion in our rural home towns.