Friday, December 22, 2023

The New Rural Project's Model


60,000 registered voters of color in North Carolina didn’t vote in 2020. "Those are the kind of numbers that change elections."
--Cynthia Wallace, New Rural Project

Since 2021, failed Democratic candidates Cynthia Wallace (she ran against Dan Bishop in 2020 in CD9) and Helen Propst Mills (ran twice in 2018 and 2020 for a NCSenate seat) launched The New Rural Project deliberately targeting "civic engagement" in the Black community, particularly that (large) segment not even registered to vote who tend to live in rural areas. Wallace and Mills formed a 501(c)(4) non-profit, recruited staff and volunteers, and adopted a "down home" approach as opposed to typical political advocacy. "They knocked on doors, sat on front porches, huddled in barber shops, and listened more than they talked" ( The New Rural Project originally targeted seven North Carolina counties — Moore, Hoke, Robeson, Union, Anson, Richmond, and Scotland. Wallace said, “What we really are focused on is giving voice to those who feel voiceless and helping those that feel unseen be seen and heard,”

Barbershop conversation. New Rural Project website

In 2022, the New Rural Project had the very productive idea of using Black barbershops for meet-ups and "deep conversations" with men in the community who had experience and opinions about entrepreneurship, jobs and wages, crime and the criminal justice system. One of the leaders of the barbershop conversations, barber Garrett Snuggs, ran for Wadesboro town council in 2023 and was the leading vote-getter. Three other Black candidates for municipal offices in the Project's target region also won their races.

This success in advancing Black candidates by rallying Black voters got expansion as the New Rural Project began beauty shop conversations to complement the barbershop meetups. “Every Black woman I know has spent her share of time in a beauty salon,” Wallace said. “And we’ve seen that happen in those beauty salons that the barriers kind of break down and you’re in a space that’s familiar, comfortable, and talking about your issues and your concerns .... We connect the dots between whatever their issue is and their civic life,” she said, “[bringing] it back full circle to why your civic engagement can actually solve these issues that you care about.”


Wolf's Head said...

Once again, your problem is democrats have been getting their message out to people.

And folks aren't having any of it.

Yes, the numbers are enough to sway an election. But what are you giving them to vote for?

Rural blacks have the same interests as rural whites. Family, crime, drugs, economy, taxes.

And yet rich, white, urban libs think they have the solutions?

What are you selling them? High fuel prices for going to work or heating their homes? Foreign wars that drain our economy? Insane food and home prices for their families? Teaching their children to be question who they are biologically? Attacking religion and the traditional family?

Look to that perverted dotard you put in the White House as an example of how out of touch you all are with poor rural communities.

Anonymous said...

Nothing an orange, fascist, dictator, can't fix

Wolf's Head said...

Another posting of an obsessed, white, liberal elitist.

Biden is the most Fascist president we've ever had, and you put him in office.

But this posting was about rural voters, who, as I've written, have had enough of your shit.

Anonymous said...

"Biden is the most Fascist president we've ever had"

Present evidence.

Anonymous said...

"who, as I've written, have had enough of your shit."

Said, our resident fascist.

"Biden is the most Fascist president we've ever had"
Being an avowed fascist, You, of all people, should be satisfied with Biden because you support Rhodesian fascism.

Wolf's Head said...

"Present evidence" Anon 11:56

Everything he has done since he took public office. Hot just my opinion.

"Being an avowed fascist," Anon Idiot 12:02

Oh, am I a fascist for wanting free speech, an armed citizenry, a stable currency, low taxes, equal treatment under the law, prosperity and freedom for everyone? Is it my support for free markets, limited government and right to self-determination?

Hardly ideals of fascists, or democrats for that matter.

Anonymous said...

You didn't read it.

"..... for everyone?"

You want it for white people(white, male, people), not all people.

Anonymous said...

You're a fascist because you approve of, and support, fascism.

Wolf's Head said...


Anonymous said...

Fascisim isn’t an ideology, it’s a means of coopting power. Like using the powers of the state to shake down a foreign leader to help your campaign or inciting an armed mob to ‘stop the steal’.

If the dems are fascists - which they are not - they are terrible at it. The repubs have power far exceeding their numbers. The NC congressional brigade should go from 7-7 to 11-4. The oldest trick of the right is the Orwellian Counter … similar to psychological projection but done not by compulsion but through sheer shamelessness.

The right has no more to offer these rural folks than what the red meat machine can church out for their nightly hate watch.