Turning the Tide on Poverty


"Turning the Tide on Poverty" is an initiative of the Southern Rural Development Center that works in thirteen Southern states and is headquartered at Mississippi State University. The project was inspired by Horizons, a leadership development effort sponsored by the Northwest Area Foundation to address poverty on reservations and in rural communities in the northwestern United States. Support for the initiative comes from Everyday Democracy, the Farm Foundation and the Kettering Foundation.


Stories from the initiative

Using dialogue to unleash potential
Man organizing donated food into boxesOver one-fifth of residents in Neshoba County, Miss., live in poverty, and they are working together to turn those numbers around.  Residents were inspired to take action after over 100 people organized to talk and work together to build a prosperous community.



Poverty project sees early successes, plans expansion
In its first year, Turning the Tide on Poverty launched 30 "study circles" with more than 250 participants taking part across five southern states. With additional funding, the effort will expand to as many as five additional southern states for the 2010-11 year.


Creating new opportunities to strengthen community
Woman walking in a parkTwo communities have organized residents to come together in dialogue and have found creative ways to encourage healthy lifestyles and bring jobs to their towns.

Connecticut Civic Ambassadors are everyday people who care about and engage others in their communities by creating opportunities for civic participation that strengthens our state’s "civic health."

Dialogue to Change

Our ultimate goal is to create positive community change that includes everyone, and our tools, advice, and resources foster that kind of change. Whether you’re grappling with a divisive community issue, or simply want to include residents’ voices in city government, Everyday Democracy's Dialogue to Change process, using a racial equity lens, can help.