The Holler – April 2022

It's time to talk with each other again.

Do you hear the birds chirping? See flowers blooming? Feel basketball fans going bananas? Spring has come to North Carolina, and we are all about it.

Spring is a beautiful time to kick off an ambitious project like 10,000 Conversations. That’s right: Down Home is going to have 10,000 conversations with rural folks. People like us in small towns and the country haven’t been a part of mainstream conversations, especially if we are poor and working class. Rural people need to have our voices heard, and that’s why we’re making phone calls and knocking on doors. This is how we build power.

They built walls to keep us divided. People in power benefit from others living in echo chambers they’ve created. Regular people like you and me need to find a way to break through those divisions and remove the walls. It starts by having real conversations–which means talking and listening.

Conversations strengthen relationships and community. We can talk politics all day, but what it comes down to is people. Knowing your neighbors. Accepting their differences. Supporting each other through moments of difficulty and experiencing joy. We’re in this together.

Deep canvassing is Down Home’s tool for building bridges. We’ve been building our team for the past several months in order to have conversations across the state. We want 10,000 personal moments and friendly connections to bloom like dogwood trees. Won’t you join us?

We need your help to get to 10,000. Here’s how.

  • Volunteer to deep canvass or phone bank with us

April is School Library Month

At a moment when extremists are occupying school boards and books are under attack across the state, we are organizing parents to defend public schools. It starts with remembering and celebrating BOOKS and LIBRARIES.

No public school district in NC is fully funded, which is why we want to make sure our libraries have the books they need. We’re asking parents to nominate the librarians, teachers, and workers who have made a difference in our kids lives.

Every library hero you nominate that works in a North Carolina public school will be entered in a drawing to win resources for their school library!

Welcome Nick Wood to the team!

Nick Wood joins the Down Home team with nearly two decades of rural organizing experience and working to build coalitions of working folks across our state.  From housing, to farmworkers, to small farmers, to food systems, to holding big corporations accountable when they pollute our towns and waterways–Nick has done the work!

“People are going to have to get fed up.”

Our latest story for the Reclaiming Rural project comes from a man named Rob, who has been secretly living in a tent off exit 150.

Like many people in rural NC, he’s been left vulnerable and priced out by an economy and government that favors the wealthy and powerful over people who are just trying to work for a living. 

Do you want to write for Reclaiming Rural? We are always looking for small town folks  to tell your story and share your ideas. Contact [email protected] to get started

This could (really) be the year for Medicaid expansion

The tide seems to be turning. State lawmakers have formed a new committee to study the impact Medicaid expansion could have on health issues in the state such as nursing shortages, struggling rural hospitals and surprise billing. For years, the majority of North Carolinians across party lines have wanted the state to expand Medicaid, and now it seems like members on both sides across the aisle agree.

“We have to do something to protect those small [rural] hospitals and this looks like a good way to do it,” said Rep. Wayne Sasser, a Republican representative from Cabarrus County. Down Home is working with people across the state to make 2022 the year it happens. And you can help! 

Alamance County sheriff has challenger

Big news in the Alamance County sheriff’s race. Incumbent Terry Johnson now has a challenger, and this looks to be one of the most competitive races in the state. Johnson is nationally known for his racist rhetoric, defending neo-Confederates, and anti-immigrant views. The conditions at his jail are so bad that even Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is turning away from their contract with the county. 

Watch Alamance resident, mom, and Down Home member Amanda explain why it’s time for a new sheriff in town.

Upcoming Events

Our rural voices are important! Down Home is working with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Beloved Community Center, and Family Services of the Piedmont to put on a series about storytelling and social change.

How can we protect our communities and elections?

Want to fight fake news and defend our communities and elections from misinformation? Join us!

Thursday, April 21, 7 – 9 PM


Local Chapter Meetings

Alamance Chapter Meeting

March 26, 4 PM
Online on Zoom
Register Here

Cabarrus Chapter Meeting

March 26, 2 PM
Online on Zoom
Register Here

Down Home is hiring multiple positions, from part-time canvassers to full-time regional managers in our Organizing Department! Do you want to make a big difference in small towns and rural places this election year? Well, we want you to, too! Check out our job descriptions listed on our website and consider applying today! Got questions about the roles? Email Vicente Cortez at [email protected]  

Rural Stories

Sign up to get a Reclaiming Rural story every month in your inbox that helps to redefine the rural South and what we are all about. Sign up here.


Down Home members not only support our work but also help create our platform, vote on endorsements, and guide our way forward. More here.

Rural News

Our once-a-month GRITS news round up brings you news from across rural North Carolina and all the best things we are watching, reading, and listening to.