UA to Host ‘Rural Prosperity’ Conference for Alabama Youth Nov. 12

  • November 8th, 2004

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Blackburn Institute and the Office of Community Affairs at The University of Alabama will host a forum for Alabama youth on “Rural Prosperity: Making Choices for Your Community” Friday, Nov. 12, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Ferguson Center ballroom on campus.

The event is part of the larger Southern Growth Policies Board’s Rural Development Citizens Forums, designed to gather information on the status of the South. The UA event is unique as high school and University students are presenting their views in this campus forum.

Gov. Bob Riley is scheduled to address the group on Friday at 10 a.m., and state legislators have also been invited to attend.

A student panel will present their individual “rural stories” based on their education and work experiences. Discussion of rural issues will also be generated by UA students and some 30 high school students from the West Alabama area.

Community members are invited to the public event free of charge.

The Southern Growth Policies Board is a non-partisan public policy think tank based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Formed by the region’s governors in 1971, the SGPB develops and advances economic development policies by providing a forum for collaboration. Riley is chairman of the SGPB this year.

The UA Rural Prosperity forum will be delayed broadcast in Tuscaloosa by WVUA and formatted for presentation at the regional SGPB Summit in June.

The forum schedule includes:

  • 10-10:30 a.m. – Briefing on Rural Trends, Jim Clinton of SGPB
  • 10:30-11 a.m. – Briefing on Cross Roads, rural strategies for Alabama, Larry Lee of Auburn University
  • 11 a.m.-noon – Perspectives on Rural Development, panel of Alabama youth
  • Noon-1 p.m. – Luncheon
  • 1-2:30 p.m. – Deliberative Forum on Rural Development, moderated by SGPB
  • 2:30-3 p.m.-Closing comments

Those interested in attending should make a reservation with Jennifer Traywick at or at 205/348-9284. For more information and to view findings from past forums visit For information on UA’s Blackburn Institute go to


Dr. Cheree Causey, 205/348-3277,


Linda Hill, UA Media Relations, 205/348-8325,

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.