Embracing and Empowering Diverse Communities Webinar

On July 21, 2016 we presented a free webinar showcasing the way rural communities have effectively engaged diverse voices in shaping community design projects. Speakers shared how they identified and engaged diverse perspectives, who they partnered with, and what doors have opened as a result.  

From the Blog

  • Local Food Systems and Rural Development

    October 24, 2016
    A farmers’ market in Corbin, KY helps regenerate Main Street and fosters excitement within the community about future development. Meanwhile, a community school garden in Postville, IA provides a setting for social interaction and encourages physical activity and nutrition education for local youth. Farmers’ markets, food trucks, and community gardens are all tactics rural communities can use to encourage and sustain agricultural business activities and improve local food system accessibility. Local food systems are important for the health, sustainability and economic vitality of rural communities. They can stimulate additional business activity within the local economy, improve business skills and opportunities, spur consumer spending at other businesses, encourage healthier food choices, and increase programming and activities which draw people to places.
  • Painted Storefronts

    Thriving Live Oak

    September 10, 2016
    Three years after hosting CIRD's capacity building workshop, Live Oak, FL is thriving. Improvements to the city's public spaces, new retail investments, and successful cultural events have transformed the city's downtown into a bustling destination. However, perhaps, the most notable outcome of the Live Oak CIRD workshop was what, Katherine Allen, CIRD workshop co-host, called a shift in attitude. “The most significant achievement has been people working together more cooperatively than in the past, because they saw they had a shared vision,” said Allen. The workshop, which included residents, artists, business owners and a director from the Community Redevelopment Agency, was successful in creating a shared voice and reenergizing cooperative action.
Map showing locations of CIRD Workshops
Where We Work

Established in 1991, the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design has convened more than 60 workshops in all regions of the country, empowering residents to leverage local assets for the future in order to build better places to live, work, and play.

Stay Connected


CIRD supports host communities before and after their workshops via informational conference calls and webinars that cover critical topics in community engagement, rural design, partnership development, and workshop planning.