On Monday, February 26th, the Review of Law and Social Change held its annual colloquium: The Diverse Faces of Rural Poverty: Exploring the Unique Legal Challenges of the Rural Poor. The colloquium panel represented a wide range of diverse voices and perspectives from a wide range of rural communities, including upstate New York; migrant farmworker communities; the rural, predominantly black South; American Indian reservations; LGBTQ communities; and Appalachia.
The discussion ranged from the unique challenges that each rural community faces, the common misconceptions to which rural communities are subjected, and the innovative strategies and initiatives different organizations and communities are pursuing to address different rural communities’ legal challenges. In addition to voicing their own perspectives, the panelists were able to speak and build upon their shared challenges and issues and proposed ways for future collaboration and participation.
By the end of the discussion and a lively question and answer session with audience members, the colloquium provided an amazing opportunity to lift up voices and perspectives that are typically underrepresented within the primarily city-based legal community. The colloquium also gave the NYU Law community a greater understanding of legal issues in rural communities and concrete ways that our community can get involved and serve these overlooked regions.