Type: Public event

Rural Resilience: Stories of Hope and Innovation

An insightful conversation about America’s heartland with Sarah Lucas and Tony Pipa

Date & time

Nov 15, 2023, 6:00-7:00 pm EST


Weill Hall, Betty Ford Classroom 1110
735 S. State Street, Ann Arbor MI 48109

The rich, complex, hopeful story of today’s rural America too often goes untold or misrepresented, but a cadre of vocal rural champions are working to change that. Join us for an intimate conversation between two leading voices for rural prosperity: Tony Pipa (Scholar, Center for Sustainable Development, Brookings Institution, and Host, Reimagine Rural Podcast), who will share his experiences visiting rural communities across the country, and Sarah Lucas (Director, Office of Rural Development, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development), who will highlight inspiring stories from within the state of Michigan.

Pipa founded the Reimagining Rural Policy initiative to modernize U.S. policy for equitable rural development and also leads a global initiative to advance sustainable development at the local level. With three decades of executive leadership experience, his background includes key roles at the U.S. Agency for International Development, leading the U.S. delegation at the UN for the adoption of the SDGs, and fostering philanthropic ventures for community and economic development in US communities. He currently serves as vice-chair of StriveTogether, as a steering committee member of the Mobility Alliance, and contributes to various other advisory committees.

Lucas’s career achievements in community and economic development have led to enduring coalitions, policy changes, and heightened regional growth. Her past roles include CEO of the Lake Superior Community Partnership, founding Executive Director of Housing North, and pivotal positions with Networks Northwest and the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region. Her leadership extends to regional and statewide boards, including the  Community and Economic Development Association of Michigan, Economic Development Leaders of Michigan, and the Michigan Association of Planning.

The conversation, hosted at the Ford School by the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) and the Graham Sustainability Institute, will be followed by a public Q&A. Refreshments will be available at 5:45pm so please arrive early.