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Past Event

Conference
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Conference

Mon., Oct. 4, 2021 - Wed., Oct. 6, 2021

Rural America Week

Online

From October 4-6, 2021, the Richmond Fed hosted its second annual Rural America Week, which featured three days of original digital content addressing the unique challenges and opportunities currently facing communities in rural areas of the Federal Reserve’s Fifth District—Virginia, Maryland, DC, North Carolina, South Carolina, and part of West Virginia—and beyond. Featured presentations shared information, ideas, and resources for fostering and sustaining growth in rural areas, including details on inspiring community and economic development projects that are potentially eligible for Community Reinvestment Act funding, success stories of social and economic progress in rural America, and updates from educators supporting students and teachers in rural communities during the pandemic.

  • October 4: Investment Connection Live! – Rural America
  • October 5: Spotlighting Successes in Rural Communities
  • October 6: Emerging Solutions to Pandemic Disruptions in Education

More information on each day's session is available below, including links to watch recordings on the Richmond Fed's YouTube channel.

Who Should Attend


Convening policymakers, community representatives, businesses, funders and foundations, the virtually hosted conference will explore rural communities, review examples of success and barriers to growth, and highlight opportunities where investment could make a difference.

Day 1


Investment Connection Live! A Presentation of Projects that Serve Rural America

During this live virtual presentation of the Richmond Fed's Investment Connection program, six community organizations presented rural-focused community and economic development projects that are potentially eligible for funding or financing under the Community Reinvestment Act.

Presenters

Piedmont Housing Alliance (PHA)
Charlottesville, Virginia

Pitch Session Proposal: 
Seeking to develop long-term homeownership opportunities for lower-income households in rural areas of Central Virginia, through the acquisition and renovation of existing homes and the development of new homes, under the Community Land Trust model.

View Video About the Piedmont Housing Alliance
View Application in the Investment Connection Funders Portal

Habitat for Humanity – Georgetown County South Carolina, Inc.
Georgetown, South Carolina

Pitch Session Proposal: 
Seeking support to fund a partnership with Georgetown County to build a 30-home development (using housing opportunity credits) that can be accessed by families earning in the 30-80% Area Median Income range.

View Video About the Habitat for Humanity– Georgetown County South Carolina, Inc.
View Application in the Investment Connection Funders Portal

Junior Achievement of the Triad
Greensboro, North Carolina
 

Pitch Session Proposal:
Seeking funding to continue developing students in Grades K-8 through a proven curriculum that helps cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset, prepares youths for jobs of the future and develop skills that foster financial independence. 

View the Video About the Junior Achievement of the Triad
View Application in the Investment Connection Funders Portal

Horizon Goodwill Industries
Hagerstown, Maryland

Pitch Session Proposal: 
Seeking funding for a healthy foods initiative to serve residents of Hagerstown, which is a food desert. This project would bring a full-scale grocery store to the city, allowing for walkable access to fresh, affordable and healthy foods.

View Application in the Investment Connection Funders Portal

Unleash Tygart
Grafton, West Virginia

Pitch Session Proposal:
Seeking to develop a mixed-use facility that offers space for nonprofits to create a one-stop-shop for at-risk Taylor County residents, rental space for retail and private businesses, and rental spaces for meetings, video production and cooperative working spaces.

View Application in the Investment Connection Funders Portal


Video is temporarily unavailable.

Day 2


Spotlighting Successes in Rural Communities

Speakers and panelists shared insights about rural Fifth District communities that are using a multi-faceted approach to addressing rural economic challenges.

Presenters:

  • Sara Chester, Executive Co-Director, The Industrial Commons
  • Jay Langston, CEO, Shenandoah Valley Partnership
  • Laschelle McKay, Town Administrator, Town of Leonardtown
  • Andrew Dumont, Community Development Analyst, Federal Reserve Board of Governors
  • Kartik Athreya, Executive Vice President and Director or Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
  • Renee Haltom, Vice President and Regional Executive, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
  • Sonya Waddell, Vice President and Economist, Regional and Community Analysis, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Video is temporarily unavailable.

Day 3


Emerging Solutions to Pandemic Disruptions in Education

Speakers provided updates on several issues explored in the Richmond Fed’s District Dialogues digital series and discussed how educators continue to address learning loss, use of federal funds, and what learning looks like for 2021-2022 in the midst of an evolving pandemic.

Presenters:

  • Danette Howard, Chief Policy Officer and Senior Vice President, Lumina Foundation
  • Rebecca Evans, Kindergarten Teacher, Fennell Elementary School
  • Anthony Swann, 2021 Virginia Teacher of the Year
  • Ann Macheras, Group Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
  • Laura Ullrich, Regional Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Video is temporarily unavailable.

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