Reviving America, One College Town at a Time

How symbiotic relationships between colleges and their communities have reaped rewards in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Waterville, Maine.


Past, Present, and Future on the Water: Using StoryMaps to Explore Bucksport, Maine

What does a mile-long stretch along the Penobscot River tell the walker about Bucksport, Maine? As it turns out, a lot.


Real Mississippi podcasts: Having the Grace to Find a Sense of Place

Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science student Christina Zhang explores how a church in Biloxi serves as a space to share and celebrate Asian-American culture.


Building Bridges Within and Among Communities Through Stories

Not all bridges are physical. The ways communities are connecting with one another, and themselves, is happening differently in light of COVID-19 and with new tools like OurStoryBridge: an online platform that captures and houses community stories.


The Past, the Future, the Present: Updates from Coast to Coast

A Fellow named, college services goes big, and scenes from a Day of Enlightened Living -- here are three updates on stories we've been following on this site over the years.


Max Taps Supports Marshall Fire Victims

In the wake of one of the costliest fires in U.S. history, a local establishment is leading a local response effort to support those in need.

Civic Life

"Our Towns" featured on "We're Speaking"

A conversation on the experimentation, renewal, and hope for America's small towns.


What Could Go Right?

How do global changes affect us on the local level, and vice versa?


How American Justice Today Creates Injustice

Developing a common definition of justice could go a long way towards healing our national rifts. But how do we arrive at a shared definition?


Today, there is a tale of two Midwests.

Some communities have made the transition to a new, thriving economy in a changed world. Others are still struggling.


Human’s Power versus Nature’s Power

What power do communities have at the local level when it comes to the environment?


Greater than the Sum of Its Parts

How Gender and Racial Biases Create Ironies that Defeat Good Organizations


The New York Editor with an 'Our Towns' Vision for the Country as a Whole

Few people outside the publishing world knew of Dan Frank. Many benefitted from his vision, and skill--including anyone visiting this site.


Small-business owners continue working to build community through crisis.

Like many towns and cities, Erie, Pennsylvania long had its identity tied to its industry. The only county of the Keystone State’s 67 located on the Great Lakes watershed – on the lake from which it draws its name – Erie, through the decades, built the reputation for building. But unlike Detroit with its automobiles […]

Reports From America

Father’s Day 2019

A tribute

Reports From America

A Police Shooting Case in Mississippi

Protest march in Columbus, Mississippi (Ricky Ball a Cry for Justice) Over the past few years we’ve mentioned many of the positive developments underway in the three counties of northern Mississippi (Lowndes, Clay, and Oktibbeha) collectively known as the “Golden Triangle.” They’re featured in my current cover story; in the video that the Atlantic’s team has produced; in the discussion […]