The Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural is an alliance of farmers, farmworkers, indigenous, migrant, immigrant and working people from the United States, Mexico, Canada, and beyond working together toward a new society which values unity, hope, the land and the people.
Born of the civil rights and anti-poverty rural movements, Rural Coalition has worked for more than 36 years to assure that diverse organizations from all regions, ethnic and racial groups and genders have the opportunity to work in solidarity on the issues that affect them all. The foundation of this work is strong local, regional and national organizations that work to assure the representation and involvement of every sector of this diverse fabric of rural peoples.
We seek a just and sustainable food system that brings fair returns to our diverse small farmers and ranchers, and tribal and other small communities, fair working conditions and dignity for farmworkers and food chain workers, protects mother earth now and for our children’s children, and provides safe, adequate and healthy food for all, especially the young and most vulnerable among us.
The Rural Coalition’s charter members joined together in 1978 to bring their combined experience and skills to bear on national policies affecting rural people and communities, mapping an ambitious course in the guiding principles to which all Rural Coalition member organizations subscribe:
- Justice and equal opportunity are the right of all people regardless of race, sex, or place of residence.
- All rural people are entitled to the goods and services essential to a decent quality of life, including education, health and employment services, housing and basic community facilities. They are also entitled to democratic community institutions dedicated to serving their interests.
- The long-term viability of rural communities rests on effective control and use of resources by the people living in rural areas, including family farmers, local business people and working people of all walks of life.
- Community-based organizations are instrumental in the development of rural communities. Public policy should encourage their growth and strength.
- The federal government has responsibility to ensure the rights of all citizens and to help secure the fulfillment of these rights.
Consistent with its commitment to these guiding principles, the Rural Coalition continues work toward two long-range goals:
- The development and implementation of progressive policies responsive to rural needs
- The development of the capacities of rural organizations and people to work effectively for, and to sustain, institutional and systematic change.
Our long-term efforts focus on the creation and implementation of policies to support these goals, and economic development efforts to help our members strengthen communities, bridge the digital divide and access better markets for their products.