The Kentucky Rural-Urban Exchange (KY RUX), a statewide creative leadership program, has a goal of enabling proactive conversations about the state’s most complex challenges. This year’s 50-member cohort will travel across Taylor and Daviess counties to build connections across cultural, racial, economic, and geographic divides. Applications to join the cohort are open now.
Those accepted into the nationally recognized program will complete the leadership curriculum over 2 years while traveling across Kentucky and building collaborations with their fellow cohort members.
Last year, the cohort learned about issues such as the mounting challenges of scale facing Western Kentucky farmers, the disproportionate environmental justice issues facing Louisville’s West End, and the ongoing issues of access and health equity in Appalachia, according to a release.
“They learned about these issues by spending time in those communities alongside those most affected by these challenges,” the release reads. “Through these firsthand accounts, cohort members returned home with an insider perspective on the challenges facing Kentuckians, the extraordinary solutions that community members have devised, and how those may be applied to their own communities.”
Alumni say that RUX helped them develop the confidence to enact change at home and build the skills and networks to turn their vision into reality. With 275 alumni and 133 institutional partners, the RUX network includes some of the state’s most celebrated artists, chefs, entrepreneurs, farmers, community development leaders, and poets, alongside prominent elected officials, lawyers, teachers, healthcare workers, and tradesmen.
In 2024, the RUX cohort will visit Campbellsville-Taylor County from May 17-19, and Owensboro-Daviess County from June 14-16. Cohort members can also attend a relationship & partnership-building weekend with RUX alumni at Carter Caves State Park in August.
To learn more or apply, visit kyrux.org/apply. The application period will close on Monday, March 11.