S2 – Episode 04: Chris Merrett, IL Institute for Rural Affairs – What are the Challenges to Running a Business in Rural America?

We are beyond pleased to share this interview with our friend Chris Merrett from the IL Institute for Rural Affairs.  Chris is the Director of the Institute, which is located on the campus of Western IL University in Macomb, IL.  The institute oversees research, outreach, teaching, and policy development that is comprised of 20 community development faculty and professionals.  He serves on the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council and is the Chairperson of Rural Partners, which has raised over $6 million in external grant funding to support community and economic development outreach and research.  Chris has researched and edited books on the topics of cooperatives and community development, and has published a range of articles on topics such as value-added agriculture, rural land use, social justice, and rural community and economic development. 

S2 – Episode 03: Forgottonia Brewing – What Does it Take to Run a Successful Business in Rural America?

On this episode were fortunate to speak with some local entrepreneurs who not only started a new business in Macomb, IL, but they are kindred spirits because they named it “Forgottonia!”  Sean West and his partners Scott and Susan Park of Forgottonia Brewing in Macomb, share their story on starting a business and how they are incorporating Forgottonia history.   The essential question we asked is “What Does it Take to Run a Successful Business in Forgottonia?”  We hope you enjoy this conversation and if you have any questions or feedback we’d love to hear from you by visiting our webpage Forgottonia project.com.

S2 – Episode 02: Sundown Towns – What is the Legacy of Sundown Towns in Rural America?

On this episode, we conclude our interview with Dr. James Loewen about his book "Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism." We asked 2 essential questions: What is the legacy of Sundown Towns? Plus, how do you conduct research in your own town? Dr. Loewen is a talented author, historian, and sociologist. He is …

S1 – Episode 13: Media and Children’s Well-Being – How is Screen Time Impacting Our Kids?

On Wednesday May 2, we were pleased to welcome Dr. Tim Kasser to Cuba, IL to share his presentation titled "Media and Children's Well-Being"  (The first 30 minutes are Tim's talk while the last 20 minutes Tim answers some questions from the audience). This presentation was part of our Screen Free Week Activities that took …

S1 – Episode 12: Parent Panel on Technology – What Advice can Parents Offer about Raising Kids in the 21st Century?

On Thursday May 3, 2018 we enjoyed facilitating a conversation with parents about their experience with screens and kids. This event was part of our week-long Screen Free Week experiences at Cuba High School. Our parent panel consisted of Jackie Scharping, Samantha Gilham, Tiffany Clark, and Amy Willett. The panel was moderated by high school …

S1 – Episode 11: Student Panel on Technology – How are Young People Using Technology in the 21st Century?

On Wednesday May 2, 2018 we enjoyed a conversation with students about their experience using technology. This event was part of our week-long Screen Free Week experiences at Cuba High School. Our panel consisted of about a dozen students in Cuba High School's Sociology class. The panel was moderated by Mr. Joe Brewer. Special thanks to …

S1 – Episode 10: Conversations on Race and Rural America – How Should We Respond to Disparaging Humor About Race?

Listen in to part 2 of our conversation about race and rural America with Dr. Alphonso Simpson.  In case you didn't hear part 1, you can check it out by clicking the link here.  You can also listen to our class podcast by searching "Forgottonia Project" on iTunes or wherever you find podcasts.  Also don't forget to check out some outstanding resources that Dr. Simpson shared with us which he uses in his classes at WIU.  You can check them out by clicking the link here .

S1 – Episode 09: Conversations on Race and Rural America – How Do We Talk About Race in Rural America?

 We're excited to share this outstanding conversation about race and rural America with Dr. Alphonso Simpson.  Dr. Simpson is a professor of African American Studies at Western Illinois University and also serves as chair of the department of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  He’s been teaching at WIU since 2000 and is the author of 3 …

S1 – Episode 08: The Gender Gap – What are the Greatest Concerns for Young Women Growing Up in Rural America?

We are pleased to share this podcast interview as two Cuba high school students, Brianna Gorsuch and Caitlin Patterson, interview with the recently retired Carol Davis over the gender gap and how it impacts Rural America; both in the past as well as the present.  Carol shares her experience with gender inequality, gender stereotypes and …