The Rural Southwest Digital Community Center

The Rural Southwest Digital Community Center

Taos Health Systems
Taos, New Mexico

The Southwest Rural Policy Network (SWRPN) will build a Rural Southwest Digital Community Center, a story- and resource-sharing hub that will streamline policy and outreach efforts among nonprofits and community organizations across the region.

The Southwest Rural Policy Network (SWRPN) proposes to build a Rural Southwest Digital Community Center to eventually replace its current website.  This center will be a platform for community-based projects in the rural Southwest to share with and learn from each other, as well as a friendly space in which to collaborate and support each other on shared concerns and issues. In addition to solidifying relationships among organizations and networks sharing common issues, this website will serve as a central resource for our diverse rural communities in NM and AZ. The Center will also be connected to the Network’s social media infrastructure.

The Center will streamline policy and outreach efforts among nonprofits and community organizations across the region. Our Community Center will be a two-way communications platform aimed at reducing redundancy and improving services provided by organizations aligned with our focus areas. The Center will provide resources and support to the members of our rural communities, while allowing the SWRPN to learn about diverse community projects in a fashion that will bolster our own policy work.

Specific features will include: a Community Forum, where organizations can communicate their successes, struggles, available or needed resources, and requests for assistance: a community-driven Story Center, using the tool PlaceStories; a News Feed/Action Alerts component; a Resource Directory/Information Portal/FAQ; and a Calendar, showing events held by communities across the region. It will be a platform that can easily be brought to scale in other rural communities nationwide.

This grant is sponsored by The Rural Policy Action Partnership, a collaboration of rural advocates and public policy institutions (Center for Rural Strategies, Network Impact, the Institute for Emerging Issues, and MDC), which received support from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to carry out a strategic and integrated policy initiative on behalf of vulnerable children and their families and communities in rural America.

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