ReImagine Rural: 2023
The Edges of the Basins & the Bayous in between:

The Land Memory Bank & the School House 4 ReImagining Education invite youth from the Yakni Chitto the “Big Country”, in south Louisiana’s Terrebonne & Lafourche Parishes, to apply for a collaborative New Year Re-Imagine Rural fellowship that explores the edges of the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basins and the bayous in between to critically question what is rural – past, present, and future – and what rural means in relationship to ecologies, economies, and communities in south Louisiana and beyond. 

From January 2023 until April 2023, a cohort of youth ages 16-24 will engage in a series of field trips that explore the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basins, from the coastal wetlands to the mouth of the Mississippi to the prairies of southwest Louisiana, to think critically about how ecosystems, economics, traditional ecological knowledge, and survival shape rural realities of the present and for the future. 

The cohort will be exposed to history, science, art, and experiential learning opportunities that investigate what defines a place, what is ecotourism, what is the cultural economy and why the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basins matter. In March of 2023, the cohort will begin conversations with other young people in rural Wyoming and Kentucky to share Re-Imagine Rural reflections from inquiries, which will culminate with a collaborative presentation at the 2023 Partners for Rural Impact conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

Selected applicants in the Edges of the Basin & the Bayous in between : ReImagine Rural : 2023 project will receive a $1000 stipend for their collaboration. All participants will be asked to co-design the process and to collaborate on the creation of a final project that represents findings and documentation from inquiries and explorations to be integrated into the final presentation at the Partners for Rural Impact conference. From mid-January until the end of March, cohort collaborators must be able to commit to a weekly virtual check-in (day and time to be determined by cohort) and attend as many in-person field trips as possible. Lack of participation may result in the termination of ReImagine Rural fellowship.

Transportation will be provided.

Deadline to Apply January 6, 2023 @ 11:59pm central standard time.

APPLY HERE!

Possible and planned activities (timeline subject to change):

January

9-10

Visit with Cohort Finalist

11

Cohort Finalist announced 

14

Traditional Willow & Palmetto Structure Build at Los Islenos Cultural Center 

28

Venice Delta Discovery Tour

February

4

River Road Plantations: Whitney Plantation

11

Traditional Willow & Palmetto Structure Build at Los Islenos Cultural Center & Crevasse 22

25

Bvlbancha : New Orleans – urban centers of trade and rural relationships

26

Traditional Willow & Palmetto Structure Build at Los Islenos Cultural Center

March

3-5    

Los Islenos Fiesta :

Activation of Indigenous artisan trading post

11 TBD

18 TBD

25 TBD

April

1-4

Partners for Rural Impact Chattanooga, Tennessee

From the Partners for Rural Impact website, “One of the few national convenings to focus on rural America, the Rural Summit brings together teachers, principals, superintendents, higher education leaders, legislators, and nonprofit leaders to share ideas and strategies for ensuring that rural youth have the opportunity to enter school ready to learn and successfully transition from high school to college and career. Originally conceived as the Rural College Access and Success Summit, we have expanded our focus to include all points along the cradle-to-career path.”

Edges of the Basin & the Bayous in between : ReImagine Rural : 2023 will be led by Monique Verdin, an interdisciplinary storyteller, citizen of the Houma Nation and director of The Land Memory Bank & Seed Exchange. Monique is currently working to support the Okla Hina Ikhish Holo, a network of Indigenous southeastern gardeners, to grow food and medicine sovereignty in the lower Mississippi River Delta. Monique is co-producer/subject of the documentary My Louisiana Love and co-author of Return to Yakni Chitto : Houma Migrations.

The Land Memory Bank & Seed Exchange supports community-built record making, education, research and site-activations celebrating the unique coastal cultures and native ecologies present in the climate-challenged wetlands, swamps and prairies of south Louisiana.

School House 4 Reimagining Education is a 501 c(3) non-profit providing programs for deeper life-long learning with diverse, intergenerational community building. We are committed to furthering research and education on sustainable solutions for those facing social inequities, environmental injustices and climate change in the deep south along the Gulf coast. Our mission is to inspire and build inclusive learning communities through arts, entertainment, and educational programming.

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