persistent poverty,
advancing prosperity
& economic justice

Partners for Rural Transformation strengthens local economies — generating local wealth that sticks — and builds power among those living in some of the most disinvested parts of the country. By drawing on our collective voice and shared experiences, we’re working toward a reimagined future for rural America and the people who call it home.

Our partnership is led by a steering committee of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) serving three-quarters of the country’s persistent poverty counties, with headquarters in the Mississippi Delta, Appalachia, Native American Communities, the Deep South, the Rio Grande Valley and farming regions in the Rural West.

What is persistent poverty?

Persistent poverty is a term used to describe counties and parishes where 20% or more of the population has lived below the poverty line over the past three decades.

More than 20 million people across the U.S. live in communities designated as persistently poor. These communities, the majority of which are rural communities of color, lack the conditions that enable people and places to thrive, such as steady employment opportunities, access to responsible financial services, quality affordable housing and safe drinking water.

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What We Do

Our country will reach its full potential when rural America thrives. Partners for Rural Transformation is working toward a nation where everyone can build wealth, provide for their families and achieve their dreams in the community they call home.