• 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. (Check out our Forgottonia Profiles page to become more familiar with our 16 county region of Western Illinois. Also check out this post about the importance of Notable Figures in Rural America).
  • 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…
  • The Forgottonia Project also organizes and facilitates panel discussions around key issues impacting rural America. Students typically submit questions, moderate the forum to promote civility, and share the discussion with the surrounding community. Check out our panel discussions from Season 1!
  • View the Sidebar and Subscribe to our Podcast, Get our latest episodes and blog posts sent directly to your email by subscribing to our Blog, and Follow us on Social Media.
  • Check out our ABOUT page for more information regarding who we are and how we go about our research. Please don’t hesitate to connect with us on Social Media or by visiting our contact page and leaving a comment. We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas for future episodes!
  • 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. “