when rural and urban communities advocate together, every child benefits

The Appalachian counties of Eastern Kentucky seem to have little in common with the city of Louisville. Covering thousands of miles, the counties climb over forested mountains and plunge into deep hollows, causing many residents to live in relative isolation. The region virtually defines “rural,” and nearly all residents are white.

The neighborhoods of Louisville’s West End, by contrast, are tightly packed, with apartments and multi-family houses on small lots. Most residents of these neighborhoods are Black.

But one thing that these geographically, culturally and racially distinct places have in common is entrenched, intergenerational poverty. This shared challenge prompted three partners, with support from StriveTogether, to combine forces in a partnership that has won them a $16 million federal grant to improve the education and well-being of young people in Kentucky.