Transforming Communities By Transforming Lives
McIntosh SEED’s rural community development work begins with engagement, education and empowerment of community members. When scaffolded with opportunities for economic development that is locally-owned and locally controlled, along with infrastructure improvements, communities are becoming more resilient and self-sustaining.
U.S. Black Population Lives in the South
U.S. Rural Population Lives in the South
Historic birthplace to America’s deepest racism, the South remains home to the majority of African Americans and a destination for immigrants, migrants, and refugees from around the world. Given this context, it’s no surprise that the South bears the country’s highest poverty rates, while income polarization is sharp.
It is McIntosh S.E.E.D.’s belief that the fight against racism cannot be won without defeating racism in the South. 44 percent of the U.S. African American population lives in the South, underscoring the importance of the upcoming 2020 census in securing fair political representation that reflects the region’s diversity.
The South today is a study in economic and political contrasts. Overall, the region remains the poorest in the country with nine of the twelve poorest states.
In 2012, the South had a rural poverty rate of 22 percent—nearly 7% higher than in the region’s metro areas, and a greater disparity than in any other region. The difference in poverty rates in the South is particularly important for the overall rural poverty rate because an estimated 43 percent of the nation’s rural population lived in this region in 2012.
Southern poverty is largely a result of the region’s history of racially coerced plantation labor, racial suppression and misogyny, stunting its economic development, and the most reactionary labor laws in the country. It is for these reasons that McIntosh S.E.E.D. came into being. It is for these reasons that the time to rise up is now.