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 books “Mother to Son: A Collection of Essays and Readings in African American Studies, Ain’t Nobody Worryin’: Maleness & Masculinity in Black America, and Living the Life I Sing: Gospel Music from the Dorsey Era to the Millennium. Our essential questions are “How do we talk about race in rural America?” And “what advice do you have for young people growing up in rural counties that are predominantly white?”  Speaking with Dr. Simpson was super enjoyable and informative. We learned a lot from this talk and know you will too.

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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 expectations society places on women as a child, as a parent and in the workplace.

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S1 – Episode 07: Panel Discussion on Poverty in Rural America – How Do We Address the Stereotypes? Summary Report Part 5 of 5

The following is a summary of a panel discussion about poverty in Fulton County that took place March 23, 2017.  The forum took place at the Canton Church of the Brethren and was moderated by Pastor Kevin Kessler. Panelists included Missy Kolowski of the Health and Wellness Clinic of Fulton County,  Rolf Siversten Superintendent CUSD #66, Paster Monroe Bailey of the First Baptist Church, Brooke Denniston Executive Director of the YWCA, Paula Grigsby Executive Director of the YMCA, Rhonda Morgan from the Salvation Army and Teri Williams director of Spoon River Pregnancy Center.

This fifth and final post explores solutions and offers closing remarks. Listen online here or through our Forgottonia Project podcast (search “Forgottonia Project” on iTunes or wherever you find podcasts.

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S1 – Blog 04: The Gender Gap: What are the Greatest Concerns for Young Women Growing Up in Rural America?

We are pleased to share this interview with Dr. Lori Baker-Sperry from Western Illinois University Department of Women Studies.  We asked Dr. Baker-Sperry several questions concerning the topic of gender, especially in regards to rural America.  This interview prompted us to interview key community leaders to also share their experience with things like gender stereotypes and advice to women growing up in rural America today.  Dr. Baker-Sperry provided us with several links to her responses as well that you will find helpful.  We hope you enjoy and please contact us with any questions you might have.

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S1 – Blog 03: Notable Rural Americans – What Lessons Can We Learn from the Passing of John Mahoney?

It might surprise you to learn that of the 20 presidents who have served since 1900, just 5 have come from a big city (Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama, Donald Trump).  It wasn’t until the 1920s when the majority of Americans began to migrate from small towns to big cities. You might be surprised to learn what notable figures have come from your town, county or state.

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S1 – Blog 02: Burma Shave Ads and Materialism: What are the Consequences of Conspicuous Consumption?

Burma-Shave was a brand of shaving cream famous for its humorous advertisements during the 1920s (check out the link here to see some examples for yourself).  They had a reputation sort of like Geico does today; a company known for doing unconventional commercial advertisements with their own quirky sense of style.  Yet perhaps another reason for their success lies not in the content of their ads, but new trends in American life in the 1920s that emphasized more materialistic values of status and wealth.  Or as sociologist and economist Thorstein Veblen called conspicuous consumption; spending money on luxurious goods to flaunt the wealth and status of the buyer.

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S1 – Episode 06: Education Puts Food on the Table: What Can We Do About Job Loss in Rural America?

We previously spoke with Forgottonia native Dr. Trenton Ellis about job loss throughout  rural America. In this interview Dr. Ellis mentioned factors like technology, globalization, and the lack of economic diversity as contributing to job loss. Since our talk with Dr. Ellis was so rich in material and we didn’t want to depress you by only discussing problems, we split our discussion in two parts. In this 2nd edition, we address plans of action and ask 2 essential questions; What can we do about factors impacting job loss and  What interferes with progress in rural America?

While Dr. Ellis admits there’s no quick fix, the wisdom he offers comes not just from his academic background, but his personal experience growing up in rural America. 

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