ChangeLab Solutions recently expanded their suite of resources dedicated to advancing rural prosperity by adding a strategy brief on advancing racial equity and a policy table that can assist in these changes. These resources are a part of the Toward Better Rural Futures project which focuses on equipping leaders with the tools necessary to ensure that their community can thrive. These two new publications include tools for local and state policymakers, community leaders, and changemakers in rural areas to make a lasting impact through policy changes that can raise the bar for everyone.  

Where we live, learn, work and play have a major impact on our health and wellbeing. Rural Americans face greater obstacles to obtain the necessary resources for better health. This includes a lack of 1) access to comprehensive medical care, 2) access to healthy, affordable food, 3) access to reliable transportation, 4) access to safe places to exercise, and 5) comprehensive smokefree laws. This has greatly influenced their ability to lead a healthy lifestyle, creating poorer health outcomes in these areas. These conditions are often compounded in Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) communities, generating further health disparities in these communities. 

The new resources released by ChangeLab Solutions address these disparities through their strategy brief and provide relevant and applicable solutions for policy changes in BIPOC communities in a policy menu. These tools are designed to work in tandem with their previous resources to assist local and state policymakers, community leaders, and changemakers to set a fair and adequate baseline of care for everyone in rural areas, regardless of income, education or ethnic background. The full suite of resources includes the following: 

  1. Strategy Brief: Advancing Racial Equity in Rural Communities: This strategy brief is designed to deepen understanding among state and local policymakers who are seeking to address systemic and structural barriers that perpetuate inequities in rural communities. 
  2. Policy Table: State and Local Policies with Potential to Advance Racial Equity and Rural Prosperity: This is a menu of policies designed to advance equity in rural places.  
  3.  Strategy Brief: Advancing Rural Prosperity: This strategy brief is designed to guide leaders in promoting equitable economic development in rural places.   
  4. Case Studies: Rural Policymaking in Action: These case studies identify key state policy efforts by state governments to increase equitable economic development in rural areas.  

 These resources are designed to decrease place, race and class divides by increasing meaningful participation in decision making by BIPOC individuals in rural areas, ensuring everyone has a chance to achieve a healthy, prosperous life.