(Des Moines, Iowa, August 16, 2016)—On Thursday, August 18th, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will deliver keynote remarks at Iowa’s first LGBTQ #RuralPride Summit hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), True Colors Fund, and One Iowa. Part of a groundbreaking national series, this free event will feature panels and workshops to address unique challenges faced by LGBTQ Iowans, including economic advancement, affordable housing, and access to quality healthcare.

In 2014, USDA and NCLR jointly launched the #RuralPride campaign to support the Obama Administration’s commitment to LGBTQ equality. Since its inception, the Rural Summit Series has offered a platform for LGBTQ Americans, advocates, federal agencies and nonprofits to address the specific needs of rural communities, and discuss federal initiatives which aim to increase access to opportunity for rural LGBTQ youth and their families.

The LGBTQ Rural Summit series builds on efforts made under the Obama Administration to establish a new era for civil rights at USDA. Under Secretary Vilsack’s leadership, USDA has formed new partnerships to reach communities that were once underserved, creating ladders of opportunity so all Americans can access the resources they need to thrive.

Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016
12:30 PM CT

Drake University
Parents Hall, Olmsted Center 
2875 University Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa

This event is free and open to the public. Members of the media who wish to attend may email Press@OC.USDA.Gov to RSVP.