Let me ask you a question: what kind of rural do you think we should live in?
Take a moment to visualize it. Is your vision of your rural community or rural communities at large equitable? Do you think of fair housing, justice, healthcare, or fair wages? Who is included in this vision? And who are the people working alongside you to make it happen? We’d like to be those folks!
I’m Zakiyaa, Down Home’s Digital Organizer. You might know me from our Democracy Series that dives into the 101s of local and state politics– I write that! Much of my life was spent just minutes from the North Carolina border near Cascade, VA. I spent a lot of my time wishing I was anywhere but there, and my folks and neighbors were always telling me to do good in school so I could get out. If you’re from a rural place, you might be able to relate.
Because I was always thinking about escaping my rural community, I never spent any time thinking about what it would mean to stay– not until I came to Down Home. I’ve never been in a place that digs so deeply into the weeds of local and state politics, or one that trusts and believes in people power like Down Home. And you know what? That’s exactly what we need right now.
Here’s the thing, y’all– there is a LOT going on, especially in the lives of poor and working-class folks. It seems like we’re in an information overload. It’s hard to think about the world that could be when there’s so much noise, fear, and frustration everywhere. But, that’s by design. Maintaining the status quo is easier when folks are busy trying to keep their heads above water. When folks need healthcare, childcare, better wages, and are fighting for more worker protections, there’s very little time to think about anything other than survival.
At Down Home, we think that now is the time for rural, working folks to have the tools to thrive. That’s why we do this work– to collectively challenge the status quo and lean into the wisdom from our members who are living and working in the small rural towns we love so dearly. One thing we can all agree on is that rural folks have never had the buy-in from career politicians. They don’t know what it’s like in our shoes, and their parties never seem to travel into the backroads to ask us what we think or need from the government. But maybe we don’t need them to. Maybe everything we need is right here, in our communities, with our folks right now.
Doing this work, we know exactly how powerful rural folks are when they’re aligned. We’ve got grit and tenacity that just can’t be beat. That’s why so much work has been done to divide us! We know what the power of knocking on a door and offering a listening ear can do for a community. We’ve witnessed it. Our story is about building power for poor & working-class rural folks by connecting with our neighbors and communities, and by sharing our collective resources and talents across rural North Carolina.
We want you to be a part of that story, and that’s why we’re asking you to come into our membership. Whatever you bring to the table, however you show up– we’ll be happy to have you on our porch.
We want to know more about you!
State of Our State
Join Down Home North Carolina for State of Our State, an open meeting where we will discuss the political landscape of our state and what poor and working class people can do in rural North Carolina in 2022 to make sure we are represented and heard!