Rural America faces systematic, avoidable, and unjust economic, health, and racial disparities. Legacies of forced geographic and cultural displacement, enslavement, financial discrimination, residential segregation, and transitioning economies have left an indelible mark. Despite evidence of persisting rural inequities, there is no coordinated effort to build a comprehensive evidence base to support deep systems change. Therefore, Partners for Rural Transformation suggest the following steps to achieve data equity:
- Expand Evidence-Based, Policy-Relevant Rural Research
- Equity Focused Impact Measurement
- Increase Data Accessibility
- Launch a National Rural Research Network and Agenda
- Strengthen Investment Capacity and Strategy
Rural America is much more than the sum of its deficiencies. These communities possess unique strengths and potential—in human and natural capital, in social and physical infrastructure, in cultural resources. To affect change and increase equity requires evidence-based policymaking that invests in these strengths, centers rural voices, and focuses on solutions and not just problems. The moment is now.
Click here to read more on PRT’s suggestions to advancing equity with community data partnerships.