Rural Community Inclusion

Community inclusion is about bringing people together, learning from each other, and enriching our communities through our collective differences. We accomplish this by identifying and creating opportunities to bring more awareness and engagement across cultural divides throughout rural Nebraska.

What kinds of support and training are available for rural communities?

Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)

The IDI is a personal development tool focused on increasing the intercultural competency of participants through a series of activities of self-reflection and intentional growth. By developing their intercultural competency, participants will be able to more effectively communicate, cooperate, and engage with individuals and cultures different from their own experiences. This tool is personalized and flexible to accommodate learning styles, individual experiences, and differing world views on an individual basis. The IDI is also dynamic enough to be applied to entire groups, measuring and analyzing how a group functions in regard to difference and illustrating strengths as well as potential blind spots relating to navigating cultural differences.

Community and organizational workshops

We provide a variety of engaging workshops for communities and organizations seeking to embrace a culture of welcoming and inclusion. This is accomplished through strategies such as: confronting and identifying our own implicit biases and how they impact our decision making, engaging with people across differences, civil discourse, and how to deepen and enrich communication skills. We also provide these same trainings in a train-the-trainer format.

  • Confronting bias
    • Learning to identify our own implicit biases.
    • How our biases affect our decision making.
    • Identifying bias on the structural level.
  • Using the Civity Method
    • Learning to engage in deeper conversation across difference with empathy, respect, and civility.
    • Transitioning from an “Us and Them” mindset to an inclusive “Us” mindset.
    • When people have the sense that we are in this together—when they feel confident reaching out to and connecting with others—differences become springboards rather than barriers.
  • Train the trainer
    • Want to bring one of the above trainings to your workplace, group, or community? We will provide you with the materials, information, technical assistance, and process for delivering these eye-opening workshops on your own.
    • We encourage communities to find collaborative partners to provide additional opportunities, events, and workshops.

Leadership development and programming

We offer foundational curriculum for existing leadership programs for both adults and youth who strive to develop their cultural knowledge and more inclusive leaders. We work with communities to design and meet community-specific needs.

Emergency response planning

Emergencies and crises can happen in communities. Is your community prepared to respond? We provide training to assist your community with responding and supporting community members when emergencies, such as raids, hate crimes or even rumors, leave an imprint of fear and uncertainty on citizens who are either in an unknown status or left behind.  

Watch for community events and workshops at


We collaborate with partners to provide additional opportunities, events, and workshops include:

We assisted in creating a rights and planning guide for those facing deportation or removal with these partners. You can find the guide here.

After responding to a raid in O'Neill, Nebraska, we created this Tip Sheet: Responding to Immigration Raids in Rural Communities. We strive to help all rural communities in the U.S. by sharing this tip sheet and it is our hope it alleviates some work if a rural community is affected by a raid in the future.


Rural Community Inclusion Notes


Tips for Working with Latino Producers and Latino Youth in Nebraska

This guide to working with Latino producers and youth contains the most important lessons we have learned in the past two years. You will find two lists with our top tips and three case studies that highlight lessons learned by producers who secured loans. Each one has a different business and a different goal, but the theme is thesame. They needed a little extra support to help their farm dreams become a reality.

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Staff spotlight: Eunice encourages inclusion in rural America

Though she was born and raised in a metropolitan area, Eunice Ramirez feels more at home in rural America.

“I was raised in a big city where farming and small town areas were things I only read about in books,” Eunice said. “My first visit to Nebraska was back in 2000. I fell in love with the small town feel, where everyone waved hello.”

The El Paso, Texas, native recently joined the Center for Rural Affairs team as an inclusion assistant, a position she’s passionate about.

Leaders talk about ‘Black Experience in Rural Nebraska’ 

To say that we live in a challenging time is quite the understatement. For the past several months, almost everyone’s “normal” has been upended. Many of us are spending much more time at home than we ever have before. However, for people of color in this country, the spectra of widespread, systemic, and institutionalized racism remains a steadfast constant. This fact, while unforgettable to people of color, was thrust into the national spotlight after yet another extrajudicial murder incited protests around the country.

From the desk of the executive director: we must confront racism where we live and work

The death of George Floyd at the hands of police has ignited a movement. Floyd’s senseless and brutal death is yet another chapter in a long history of racism in our country.

Demonstrations have spread around the world in response. We noticed the reports of gatherings in small towns in our region—Norfolk, Nebraska. Coon Rapids, Iowa. Marshall, Minnesota. Places not known as hotbeds of anti-racism action.