Please click HERE for contact information and a list of our Board of Directors and Corporate Officers.
Who We are:
Wisconsin Rural Women's Initiative is a 501c3 non-profit organization that is present in over 60 counties in the state of Wisconsin. We work to develop self-sustaining women's circles to maintain healthy practices and connections fostered by our program.
In this way we can break down the isolating effects of rural living.
To provide programs for rural adults (Primarily women) that will encourage and build self-esteem and help develop skills for coping with change. We honor their stories, determine their needs and remain a presence that can bring transformative and systemic change to themselves and, by extension, their communities.
Established in 1996, Wisconsin Rural Women's Initiative was developed in response to the lack of support that rural/farm women were receiving in regards to self-nourishment, self-esteem, domestic violence resources, mental health resources, and the ability to seek out and attend events that would otherwise be unattainable due to financial and time restraints.
Ongoing with our mission, Wisconsin Rural Women's Initiative provides programs that encourage the development of self-esteem, that are situated in easily accessible settings, and that provide a support network for those who are otherwise lacking one.
We honor the multicultural and diverse stories of rural women, resource their needs, and remain a presence that can bring transformative and systemic change to women and their communities.
For the past 17 years, members of the Wisconsin Rural Women's Initiative have traveled to 67 rural counties in the state of Wisconsin, gathering women in ways that allow us to engage them in dialog that promotes wellness and cultivates transformation in a safe environment.
What We do:
As we travel around the state and work with women from various areas, we are increasingly aware of how isolation, depression and lack of support, low self-esteem and self-confidence are issues that are a prevalent and increasingly more problematic among our rural sisters.
Research has shown that health disparities exist between rural and urban populations, with rural residents more likely to be uninsured and report fair to poor health status than their urban counterparts. Because of the geographic layout of rural areas, those who live there can experience geographic isolation, which poses challenges in managing chronic illnesses and locating mental health professionals.
Many of the programs we provide deal with stress reduction techniques, anger management, grief and loss issues, domestic abuse, communication skills, and leadership training. We offer our programs to those who rarely have the financial or time resources to seek them out in more metropolitan areas and offer a community to network in and find support.
It is our objective to develop self-sustaining women's circles that can maintain healthy practices and connections fostered by our program.
Through the process of Gathering Circles we have engaged more than 4500 women throughout the state of Wisconsin. We have fostered networks of support, seen the faces of those hesitant to ask for help, and heard stories of strength and great resilience.
It is our hope that through our Gathering Circle process we can effect systemic change for farm and rural women and their communities.