Hub receives major grant to advance work dispelling negative stereotypes about Appalachia

Community leaders work to envision and map out their work at The Hub’s Think Tank in 2019

FROM THE WV COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT HUB TEAM

The WV Community Development Hub (The Hub) will elevate diverse voices and broaden the national conversation about poverty and economic mobility at a critical moment in our nation’s history as one of 28 organizations receiving $100,000 grants in the Voices for Economic Opportunity Grand Challenge, sponsored by a group of eight philanthropic organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Grantees were selected from 1,225 submissions made last fall and represent a broad cross-section of geographies, cultures, media and scope of ideas.

Building on 5 years of investment into efforts to change the narrative around innovative rural leadership in West Virginia, The Hub will capture and share accounts of hard-won achievements from West Virginians that challenge cultural and economic stereotypes about rural communities. The Hub will use their existing network to produce stories that share the lives of leaders and innovators who have worked hard to improve the quality of life in their communities. The stories will be combined with information highlighting key strategies for building community to overcome systemic, intergenerational poverty and be distributed on existing organization communications platforms, pitched to regional and national news outlets, and disseminated to practitioners in the rural community development field.

“We are at a turning point for West Virginia. We are facing significant challenges today, and we need to see the faces and hear the stories of on-the-ground leaders to inspire, motivate, and move people into action as we rebuild our paths to resilient and prosperous communities,” said Stephanie Tyree, The Hub’s Executive Director.

“We are committed to lifting up the voices of innovative rural leaders. This is work that we have been dedicated to for 5 years, and it is an honor to receive national recognition for our efforts,” said Emma Pepper, The Hub’s Director of Strategic Network Communications.

The purpose of the Grand Challenge, launched in September 2019, is to establish ways to offer alternatives to confusing, conflicting, and just plain inaccurate accounts about what poverty is, why it happens, to whom it happens, and how to address it. Key partners on the project have included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Omidyar Network, Raikes Foundation, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and the Schultz Family Foundation.

Click here to download a copy of the press release distributed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including more information on the Grand Challenge and information about the 28 grant recipient projects.

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