How We Got Started
The Rural Women’s Civic Engagement Coalition was created by activist Mónica Ramírez in 2018 and is anchored by the organization she founded, Justice for Migrant Women. Ramírez laid the foundation for the coalition by engaging in conversations with different national and local organizations about the need to create a network that will leverage its resources to collectively empower rural women. Given the clear interest, the next step was to assemble a small planning committee, including 9 to 5, Return to the Heart, We Stand United, and Vote Run Lead to more clearly establish the coalition’s objectives, structure and goals.
The coalition was publicly announced at the first Rural Women’s Summit in Greenville, South Carolina, in October 2019. Ramírez was joined by Erin Vilardi, Executive Director of Vote Run Lead, activist and actress Piper Perabo, former appointed official, advocate and trainer Prairie Rose Seminole, and current elected municipal official and trainer Nevada Littlewolf.
The Rural Women’s Civic Engagement Coalition aims to increase the political representation and power of rural women and girls across the United States with a focus on elevating the leadership of women of color and other underrepresented community members.
Why is it necessary?
Individuals in rural America face several obstacles when it comes to civic participation and engagement, particularly a lack of infrastructure and public transportation that is readily available in urban centers. Most places in rural America are spread out – at times with homes being miles apart. Many rural communities across the country are poor and lack the technological structure available in big cities, which creates obstacles to rural digital engagement.
There has been an overall lack of investment in civic engagement efforts geared toward rural American and some of these communities are, literally, beginning to cease to exist because of declining population, poverty, and limited occupational opportunities. Despite these barriers, many opportunities exist to see that these communities are represented, for example, by fully engaging the leadership that exists in these communities and specifically focusing on empowering and engaging women.
Work together to nuture a fertile ecosystem which helps rural women grow and prosper in America.
Help each other achieve growth in our careers, livelihoods, education, families and communities.
Recognize the fruits of our labor are best shared with those less fortunate.