Welcome to our Forgottonia Project webpage! Our purpose is to examine the social problems that impact rural America.

  • The name Forgottonia refers to a tongue-in-cheek movement during the 1970s that began largely because many rural Americans in Western Illinois felt policymakers were ignoring their region in favor of larger, metropolitan areas (check out our podcast about one of Forgottonia’s founders, Neil Gamm).
  • Although many communities in rural America have endured an exodus of people and industries, they remain spectacular places to live.
  • Our hope is that by examining the social problems our young people are inheriting, we will inspire citizens to be active participants in making our communities even better places to live.  
  • Speaking of young people, we’ve been fortunate to interview some pretty cool authors, scholars and activists and we let our rural high school students ask all the questions. Students spend time identifying topics, analyzing research, and structuring questions to submit to informed experts such as…



trenton ellis

We believe that in order to change the world, you must start locally! “There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” – Margaret J. Wheatley. “