Institute for Emerging Issues Monthly Digest - May 2019
Institute for Emerging Issues Monthly Digest - May 2019 


May 30, 2019
A Word from the Director | May 2019

A Reese’s Cup Approach to Reconnecting NC

Stalin and Roosevelt.
Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Buzz Lightyear and Woody.
Kobe and Shaq.
Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus.

What can these unlikely pairs of people teach us about solving North Carolina’s biggest community problems? And what do they have to do with our new “Civic Conversations” series, launching this month across North Carolina? Give me a minute.

As most of you know, the Institute for Emerging Issues is spending the next three years looking at five different ways North Carolina – and North Carolinians – have become disconnected. We got the idea from you. When we asked what you thought were the “biggest issues facing the state” you said things like “people don’t seem to volunteer as much (or vote as much, or participate as much) as they used to in our communities,” or “rural and urban areas seem to be going in two different directions,” or “a lot of people seem to be getting stuck in low income jobs and can’t move up.” Some of you said “we’ve got to do something about all the people who want to work but can’t because of mental health or addiction issues.” Some of you worried about technology: “It was supposed to bring us closer together but instead it is driving us apart.”

And so we built an initiative, ReCONNECT NC, around naming those issues, locating the people across our state that are taking them on and making them better. Then we want those leaders to share the best ideas with others.

Read More »

2019 ReCONNECT to Economic Opportunity Forum - Call for Communities

IEI is accepting applications from NC “communities” that are actively working on successful efforts to connect adult, lower income earners to information or services related to sustainable-wage employment, effective skill-enhancing training models and employer-supported initiatives. Programs that remove non-academic barriers to, and provide support for, postsecondary education will also be considered. IEI will follow these communities over the duration of the project, capturing their successes and lessons learned in case studies that will be shared statewide.

Learn more and APPLY TODAY!


IEI’s 2019 RFCAI Conference Recap

On May 14-15 in Burlington, NC, IEI hosted its 2019 RFCAI Conference that brought together faith leaders, partners and members of the community from across the state.

Take a moment and read a brief reflection from Kylie Foley, Rural Faith Program Manager.



Interested in participating or hosting a civic conversation?

In an effort to make progress on tough issues, residents, business and community leaders, along with elected officials need to practice talking to each other, which is why the Institute for Emerging Issues has launched its Civic Conversations series.

IEI is engaging with and encouraging public officials, organizations and North Carolina residents from many different backgrounds and perspectives to participate in or host a civic conversation in their community. These conversations will take place one-on-one or in small groups where the emphasis will be on carefully listening to each other.

The goal of the conversations will be to help people learn from each other, build relationships and identify specific things that can be done to reconnect the many divisions in our state. Together let’s ReCONNECT NC, one civic conversation at a time.

Learn more and sign up here!

Meet Cyrus Rad our Caldwell Fellows Volunteer

The Caldwell Fellows Program is developing the next generation of self-aware, globally-minded students that engage in creative, conscientious leadership, and IEI wants to help.

Cyrus is a member of the 2021 Class of Caldwell fellows and will be working with IEI this summer on its Civic Conversations project.

Take a moment and learn more about Cyrus.
An Artistic Approach to ReCONNECT NC

IEI had the opportunity to sit down with the founder of a local nonprofit that is trying to utilize art in all forms to foster openness, understanding, and empathy in individuals with the goal of building communities that are accepting, resilient, and collaborative.

Read more »
In case you missed it! IEI has published the ReCONNECT Rural and Urban Impact Report

We invite you to read what we’ve heard and learned, and test out our “six recommendations” in your community. We also hope you will share what you’re discovering with us!

View the report »
Partner Spotlights

Explore Elkin
NC Trail Days Festival
May 31-June 2
Friday: 8am - 10pm
Saturday: 8am - 10pm
Sunday: 8am - 5pm
Click here to learn more

October 15, 2019
ReCONNECT to Economic Opportunity
Charlotte, NC.
Registration Opens July 15!
The Institute for Emerging Issues
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