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RDLN National Network Assembly

RDLN holds National Network Assemblies approximately every other year. At these Assemblies each participant's circle of peers continues to expand, having started with the small group with whom s/he shared the experience of the Rural Development Insitute at the University of California at Davis.

Assemblies are hosted by RDLN Leaders' organizations in rural areas. Attendees visit local projects and share local culture. Each Assembly includes workshops, a Circle of Sharing, Network Planning, and a graduation ceremony for those who have completed the program.

Celebrating 50 Years
with New Communities

Albany, GA

Participation in Gala Celebration
RDLN Panel Presentation "Multicultural Voices from the Land"
Honoring RDLN Graduate and Board member Shirley Sherrod
Tour of Farming & Food-Related sites - Southwest Georgia Project
Network Fundraising & Silent Auction.

Confront Economic Inequality

Glorieta Conference Center, Glorieta, NM

Sessions in environment, economics, development, and farming
Social justice videos
Historic Performance:
"Fannie Lou Hamer: 'This Little Light'"
Created and performed by Billie Jean Young, J.D.
on the 100th anniversary of Ms. Hamer's birth.

Mississippians Engaged in Greener Agriculture
Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative

Piney Woods School, Piney Woods, MS

Challenging Economic inequality
Field Reports/Circle of Sharing/Organizing/Field Trip/Graduation
Farming, Food & Health
Alternative Education

North Carolina

Caraway Conference Center, Sophia, NC
International Civil Rights Center and Museum,      Greensboro
Fuquay Varina Community Development Corporation,      Fuquay Varina

Circle of Sharing
Sessions on Farmworkers, Fracking, Civic Engagement, Organizing, Civil Rights, Cooperative Development, Cultural Tourism, Food & Health, Immigration. .
Information Sessions on Taxes and the Affordable Healthcare Act
Special event at Civil Rights Museum
Field Trip.

Louisiana Community Reinvestment Coalition, Hammond, LA

The Rivers Retreat Center, Covington, LA Tangipahoa African-American Heritage Museum, Hammond, LA

Network Sharing, Celebration, and Information. Workshops on Credit Unions, Housing, and Entrepreneurship. Visits with Louisiana groups affected by the Katrina and oil spill disasters. Network fundraising. Closing speech by RDLN graduate Shirley Sherrod. Co-sponsored by the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and the Housing Assistance Council.


Flats Mentor Farm
Lancaster, MA

RDLN celebrated its Twenty- Fifth Anniversary, held a Rural Roundtable on the World Food Crisis, and the role of U.S. Grassroots Rural Leaders in the food system, visited Flats Mentor Farm, a farmers' market, Equal Exchange and Red Tomato, and reflected, shared, and planned for the future.


Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative

Georgia Baptist Conference Center
Norman Park, Georgia

Organización en California de Lideres Campesinas

St. Francis Retreat Center
San Juan Bautista, California

Salish Kotenai College
Ktunaxa Community Development Corporation (KCDC)

Blue Bay
Flathead Reservation, Montana


Children and Family Services
Covington, Tennesse

Brigadoon Farm
Olive Branch, Mississippi


Community Council of Southwest Texas
Neal's Lodges
Concan, Texas

In the hill country of Texas, RDLN met for workshops on marketing, use of simultaneous translation equipment, and surviving internal organizational conflict. The group visited sites of
our host, the Community Councill of Southwest Texas, with a cultural performance in Del Rio, a computer class at the junior college in Uvalde, and a dinner in Mexico.

Members of RDLN's new Rural Women's Product Development & Marketing Venture were present.

Graduation speakers were Moises Loza, Chair of RDLN's Board of Directors and Billie Jean Young, former Chairwoman.

Taos County Economic Development Corporation

Mable Dodge Luhan House
Taos, New Mexico

After our trip to Beijing, RDLN held an Assembly in Taos. Among the activities were a Report from Beijing and planning for the Rural Technical Assistance Network. We visited the Pueblo Indians buffalo project and Taos County Economic Development's business incubator. The graduation speaker was Richard Archuletta, of the War Chiefs office at the Taos Pueblo.

Boys, Girls, Adults Community Development Center

DeGray Lake State Park

Some attendees came early and visited the sites of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives in Epes, Alabama; Boys, Girls, Adults Community Development Center in Marvell, Arkansas; and housing projects of Voice of Calvary Ministries in Jackson, Mississippi.

RDLN had a ceremonial "Challenge to Churches" on the banks of the Arkansas River. We read our Statement on Land (originally composed in 1992) and challenged churches to turn over some of their land to community groups.

Our graduation speaker was Bob Nash, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Western Reserve State Park

Wilma Mankiller, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, gave the graduation speech.

(l to r) Rose Sanders, Starry Krueger,
Wilma Mankiller, Unita Blackwell, Billie Jean Young