In partnership with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Aspen Community Strategies Group worked with two advisory committees, numerous local and regional organizations, national networks, and research partners to create this framework. It weaves current community innovations and tested approaches on critical issues to achieve equitable rural prosperity – from health, economic development, environmental stewardship to civic engagement. The framework calls for an asset-based approach across local and systems levels of change to clarify and address the underlying factors that must be true to create prosperous rural communities. Critically, the framework seeks to address the reality that people in rural communities and Native nations face unique types of systemic discrimination due to race, place, and class.
Everyone invested in the prosperity and wellbeing of rural communities and Native nations — from local leaders, organizations, philanthropists, and policymakers — can utilize the framework as the starting point of a shared approach to engage on vital issues.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is offering grants to support the development of new and existing cooperatives in Wisconsin, with a goal of fostering the success of current and future cooperatives by supporting planning and exploratory research in advance of making a large investment.