Shaping the Destiny of Rural America: Jess Shoemaker Calls On Biden to Help Rural Communities Thrive

Jess Shoemaker (’05), University of Nebraska Professor of Law, coauthored an article for The Conversation, discussing federal initiatives towards empowering rural communities, including expanding high-speed internet access, shoring up local governments by expanding capacity-building programs and grants, reining in big agriculture, pursuing broad racial justice, and forging a new federal antipoverty program (“5 Ways Biden Can Help Rural America Thrive and Bridge the Rural-Urban Divide,” Jan. 21). “At a minimum, the federal government can enhance workplace protections for farm laborers, strengthen protections of ancestral lands and tribal sovereignty and provide leadership for improving rural access to justice. . . . So the question is, will federal leadership take the bold steps necessary to address rural marginalization and start mending these divisions? Or will it pay lip service to those steps while continuing the patterns of neglect and exploitation that have gotten the U.S. to where it is today: facing an untenable stalemate shaped by inequality and mutual distrust.”