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200+ Leaders From Rural U.S. Communities To Gather in Missoula, Montana To Rewrite The Rural Organizing Playbook – June 4-7

June 4 @ 2:00 pm - June 7 @ 12:00 pm

Over 200 rural community leaders will meet in Missoula Montana from June 4 – 7 for the Small
Town Summit, a gathering of organizers for and by people who live in small town, rural, and
primarily conservative states. With so much at stake for rural and small town America and tribal
nations, these leaders are convening to claim their place in the national conversation — and to
strengthen and build capacity for important fights in 2023 and beyond: ensuring billions of
dollars are used for our communities needs and priorities, ensuring our energy transition
improves the lives of everyone in rural America and leaves no community behind, and
strengthens American Democracy from extremists.

Mallory Phillips grew up in Whitefish and has deep roots in Montana. She is a co-founder of
Shelter WF, a local non-profit advocating for affordable and attainable housing in Whitefish.
Phillips will be attending the Small Town Summit and stated:
“Now more than ever, in Montana and across the Nation, communities are divided around all
sorts of issues. We see the small town summit as a way to learn more about ways to bring
Montanans together on issues that impact everyone such as housing. Too long rural
communities have been dismissed, and now in places like Montana we are facing a housing
crisis similar to those faced in bigger cities. Shelter WF wants to learn how to more effectively
organize around housing for all Montanans, so as not to have to make the same mistakes as
bigger communities.”

Convened by United Today, Stronger Tomorrow and Hoosier Action, with support from other
rural groups Virginia Organizing, ISAIAH and Progress North, the summit is the result of a 9
month consulting process including hundreds of surveys and pre-summit conversations with
small town and rural community leaders, the process determined that a convening is needed to
write a new rulebook for community engagement and working to improve the lives of rural and
small town community members.

Lena Camero is a mom in her hometown Kalispell. She cares about affordable housing and
childcare for her family – and veteran mental health services for her husband.

“I’m excited to see how many people are coming to this event – it’s bigger than expected! It’s
important to me as a Kalispell resident that people who live in small towns are the ones who are
making the decisions for small towns. With an influx of second-home owners in the Flathead

Valley and powerful billionaires and corporate interests, we’re seeing decisions being made by
people who don’t reflect the majority of our communities. And that’s not how democracy is
supposed to work — and I hope we can compare strategies to make decision-making processes
more equitable in our local communities.”

The Small Town Summit is an opportunity to start building towards solutions. The 200+
community leaders and organizers in attendance will focus on strategizing and co-learning
sessions with the goal of immediately building skills and relationships amongst participants, but
also identifying collective opportunities for continued work and collaboration beyond June.

Participants agree that the time is now, and community leaders are ready to take on the
challenge of winning concrete improvements in their members’ lives, while lifting up small town
and rural communities in the national dialogue to inform the direction our country takes over the
coming years.

The summit will run from 2 PM MST on Sunday, June 4th, until noon MST on June 7th at the
Holiday Inn Downtown Missoula, Montana. Please contact press liaison, Madeline McGill at
[email protected] if you are interested in covering the summit and its conversations.
Shelter WF is a non-profit organization with the mission to confront housing inequality in
Whitefish and to empower grassroots political participation to create homes for all of us, not just
the wealthy.
United Today, Stronger Tomorrow is a nonprofit organization that identifies opportunities to
create and/or strengthen on-the-ground organizing and build power that can be used to directly
improve the lives of Americans.


June 4 @ 2:00 pm
June 7 @ 12:00 pm


Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown
200 South Pattee
Missoula,MTUnited States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website

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