We hope you can join us this October in Decatur, GA for the TFH Annual Meeting!

All TFH Coalition Members, strategic partners, supporters, and anyone interested in rural development is invited to attend!
We look forward to bringing together a community that is committed to alleviating persistent rural poverty across America.


Keynote: The Injustice of Place

Kathryn J. Edin & Timothy J. Nelson

The places of The Injustice of Place, the focus of Edin, Nelson, and Shaefer's research and writing, are the places of persistent rural poverty, so familiar to Together for Hope, including the Delta, Black Belt, Appalachia, Texas, and Native Lands. This keynote presentation and panel discussion will provide a deeper understanding of the places we serve.

About the book, The Injustice of Place: Three of the nation’s top scholars ­– known for tackling key mysteries about poverty in America – turn their attention from the country’s poorest people to its poorest places. Based on a fresh, data-driven approach, they discover that America’s most disadvantaged communities are not the big cities that get the most notice. Instead, nearly all are rural. Little if any attention has been paid to these places or to the people who make their lives there.

This revelation set in motion a five-year journey across Appalachia, the Cotton and Tobacco Belts of the Deep South, and South Texas. Immersing themselves in these communities, poring over centuries of local history, attending parades and festivals, the authors trace the legacies of the deepest poverty in America—including inequalities shaping people’s health, livelihoods, and upward social mobility for families. Wrung dry by powerful forces and corrupt government officials, the “internal colonies” in these regions were exploited for their resources and then left to collapse.

The unfolding revelation in The Injustice of Place is not about what sets these places apart, but about what they have in common—a history of raw, intensive resource extraction and human exploitation. This history and its reverberations demand a reckoning and a commitment to wage a new War on Poverty, with the unrelenting focus on our nation’s places of deepest need.

About the Authors

KATHRYN J. EDIN is the William Church Osborne Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. The author of nine books, Edin is widely recognized for using both quantitative research and direct, in-depth observation to illuminate key mysteries about poverty: “In a field of poverty experts who rarely meet the poor, Edin usefully defies convention” (New York Times).

TIMOTHY J. NELSON is Director of Undergraduate Studies in Sociology and Lecturer of Public Affairs at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of numerous articles on low-income fathers and is the co-author, with Edin, of the award-winning Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City.

H. LUKE SHAEFER, Ph.D. is the Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy and Associate Dean for Research and Policy Engagement at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He is also a professor of social work and the inaugural director of Poverty Solutions, an interdisciplinary, presidential initiative that partners with communities and policymakers to find new ways to prevent and alleviate poverty.

MSNBC with Injustice of Place author, Kathryn Edin


Examining America's deeply disadvantaged rural areas reveals surprising realities. The new book 'The Injustice of Place,' co-authored by Professor Kathryn Edin, sheds light on the surprising reality of rural poverty and its impacts, including the rise of opioid overdose deaths. The study also emphasizes that this issue transcends racial boundaries, affecting both white and minority populations in the most disadvantaged areas.

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Primary: Dr. Veronica Womack

Propagating Progress: Nourishing Healthy Food Systems for Rural Southern Communities Through Policy Action

Executive Director of the Rural Studies Institute at GA College & State University

A political scientist and rural researcher, Dr. Womack has spent nearly 20 years in higher education. She became the Rural Studies Institute at Georgia College's first executive director. She previously served as the university's chief diversity officer and professor of political science and public administration. She focuses her work on the underdeveloped rural South.


Primary: Tomica Smith

Non-Profit Advocacy

Senior Outreach Manager at American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)

Non-profit leaders (including church leadership!) are some of the best advocates for transformational change because they are well-connected in their communities. Learn about how to impact policy that affects the under-resourced from some of the best advocates for healthcare justice - the staff of American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network.


Networking and Affinity Groups

Education - Health & Nutrition - Housing & Environment - Social Enterprise

Choose one of four affinity groups based on the TFH priorities of hope and network with friend with common interests. This dialogue session is for asking questions, sharing ideas, and building relationships with others doing similar work.


Rising Hope Film Screening

With Panel Discussion Following


Rising Hope introduces audiences to a Mississippi Delta community—where hope survives, despite generational poverty.

The documentary explores issues surrounding the state’s historically oppressive policies towards Black Mississippians, the massive employment loss following NAFTA, and the devastating effects of defunding public education for consecutive generations.

More central to the film, however, is the vibrant tapestry of voices and personal narratives found within the Delta. The film follows a former news anchor turned church youth leader; a first-generation college student pursuing photography; the journeys of community non profits; and the profound life experiences of town mayors and local citizens. Through these transformational stories, audiences bear witness to extraordinary personal hardships, and their refusal to internalize the narrative of hopelessness.


Lightreel Film Festival, Washington DC
Black Butterfly for Best Documentary Feature

Oxford Film Festival, Mississippi
Best Mississippi Feature &
Audience Award Feature



Wednesday - 8:00 p.m.
If you arrive on Wednesday in time for dinner join Together for Hope friends at a local Decatur restaurant at a location and time to be named.

Thursday Lunch - 12:30 p.m.
Special guest speaker. Buffett lunch provided.

Thursday Dinner - 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Dinner on your own with a number of great options within easy walking distance from the FBC Decatur.

Friday Regional Breakfast Breakouts - 8:30 a.m.
Gather around the breakfast table with TFH friends from your region. Breakfast plate provided.

Friday Luncheon - 11:30 a.m.
With Rising Hope Film Screening followed by Panel Discussion. Box lunch provided.


Hotel Options 

Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta Decatur/Emory

116 Clairemont Ave, Decatur, GA 30030

(404) 377-6360

An affordable, walkable option, directly down the road from First Baptist Decatur.

Please contact our Travel Planners at LetsUTravel[email protected]—to secure your room at the Hampton Inn. They will then contact you regarding details.


Courtyard Atlanta Decatur Downtown/Emory

130 Clairemont Ave, Decatur, GA 30030

(404) 371-0204

More expensive option, but also walkable from First Baptist Church of Decatur. Use our special TFH booking link for reservations!


Super 8 by Wyndham Decatur/DNTN/Atlanta Area

917 Church St, Decatur, GA 30030


(404) 692-6866

A budget option that is semi-walkable to First Baptist Church Decatur.

Call the motel directly to book and mention Together for Hope for a 10% discount.