Rural Experience

The Rural Experience is a convening in a rural community that provides a space for statewide leaders to learn from and engage with rural stakeholders. The 2-day event focuses on a complex issue that has been identified as a community priority; an issue that requires engagement from a broad, diverse coalition to move forward solutions. This immersive, engaging program provides participants a better understanding of the community and extended impact of complex issues, including an intentional focus on root causes and local solutions.

CRC believes in the power of the nonprofit sector to effect change and support thriving communities. The Rural Experience is a strategy to support rural Colorado communities by convening diverse stakeholders throughout the nonprofit ecosystem to deepen the impact of the sector.

2018 Rural Experience: Strategies for Economic Opportunity & Resiliency in Northeast Colorado

June 26-27 | Yuma & Wray, Colorado

A vibrant, economically healthy community requires the input and engagement of diverse, committed community members. Join us for a solutions-driven conversation with service providers, health care and education professionals, business owners, students, elected officials, teachers, volunteers, and community residents from Northeast Colorado. Together we’ll identify shared priorities and opportunities, as well as build relationships with each other and statewide stakeholders.

Economic opportunity and resiliency is driven by access to vibrant community services, such as affordable housing, quality health care, and education. This immersive, engaging program provides participants a better understanding of the community and extended impact of complex issues, including an intentional focus on locally driven solutions. The Rural Experience will build off of previous regional events such as the RPD Regional Listening Tour and March Community Conversation event.

Agenda at a Glance

Day One | 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM | Red Willow Event Center, Yuma

Landscape of Workforce & Economic Development: Statewide thought leaders share the most relevant data and state priorities. We’ll set a baseline understanding of key terms, regional economic drivers, and key issues facing rural communities.

Listening Lab: Participants will be able to voice their opinions on economic resiliency in this dynamic, facilitated activity with a focus on identifying strengths and assets.

Building Economic Resiliency: This cross-sector dialogue will engage local leadership to discuss the three key factors of economic resiliency: affordable housing, quality health care, and education. In rural Colorado, these factors serve not only as community assets to attract families and a viable workforce, but also as major employers.

Stories of Impact: We’ll hear directly from community members who will share their experience in building economic resiliency and joining the workforce in Northeast Colorado, including the challenges they’ve faced, opportunities to improve services, and their personal priorities.

Day Two | 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM | 4th and Main, Wray

Thriving Local Economies: Local organizations are already making progress towards supporting a thriving economy in their community. We’ll hear directly from the leaders of regional initiatives about their projects, successes, and future opportunities.

Community Solutions: Participants will discuss what they can do to create change in their communities, specifically focused on short-term outcomes and identifying local champions. We’ll discuss innovative ideas to advance the strategies identified on Day 1.

2017 Rural Experience: Opioid Crisis in the San Luis Valley

On November 2-3, Community Resource Center convened a group of diverse stakeholders to discuss the opioid crisis in the San Luis Valley. Local community organizers, nonprofit leaders, and statewide partners informed outreach and planning efforts to ensure a thoughtful and robust dialogue that would leverage existing programs and initiatives in the region.

This event connected diverse regional and statewide professionals and community leaders. Participants were able to discuss the expansive impact of opioid misuse on families and the community. The knowledge gained and relationships built during the Rural Experience contributed to the ongoing process of combating the opioid crisis.

For more information, please contact:

Leah Rausch, Director of Rural Partnerships
303.623.1540 X170 or email hidden; JavaScript is required