The California Institute for Rural Studies has been working hard to improve the lives of people in rural California for more than four decades. Our research projects literally put people who were once invisible on the map.
This fall, Gail Wadsworth, the Executive Director who led us through the past 10 fruitful years retired and we're working to raise a $10,000 transition fund in her honor. While at CIRS, Gail completed several major research projects that will be impacting rural California for years to come, including the Eastern Coachella Valley Household Survey, a farm worker housing assessment in Salinas/Pajaro Valleys and a rapid-response survey that was a part of the court case that struck down the Trump administration's proposed addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. She has also been an incredible coach and mentor to many young researchers and organizers, sowing the seeds of future justice work throughout rural California.
Thanks to her work-- and her ability to nuture and empower staff-- CIRS will continue to inspire action for social change to benefit rural communities for the next ten years. Our new Executive Director, Ildi Carlisle-Cummins, is dedicated to making CIRS the place where often-marginalized communities turn when they want to use the power of data to create change-- and to building a vibrant network of researchers FROM rural communities who can tell the stories of their hometowns in a wide variett powerful ways.
For an inspiring example of the kind of project that flourished under Gail and that Ildi will continue to expand, check out the video summary of the 2019 Rural Justice Summit, which is now a CIRS annual event produced in partnership with the Community Alliance for Agroecology, UC Merced and the Dulce Up Front Arts Collective.
Thank you for supporting our work-- and helping to invest in a vibrant, thriving rural California!