Institute for Emerging Issues Monthly Digest - April 2019
Institute for Emerging Issues Monthly Digest - June 2019 


June 27, 2019
A Word from the Director | June 2019

I’ve been thinking a lot this month about change.

As part of our preparation for the upcoming Emerging Issues Forum and ongoing focus on ReCONNECT to Economic Opportunity (registration for the Forum opens July 15!), I’ve spent a lot of time (and Molly Sheehan and Alicia James have spent a lot more time) reviewing inspiring proposals from teams across the state who are launching innovative strategies to connect adult workers to new opportunities. Reading about how teams and organizations across the state are doing that has reminded me how hard it is to change jobs.

I recently listened to a great episode of Freakonomics, one of my favorite podcasts, on changing minds. I learned it is apparently too late for me to learn to love sushi, but I was also reminded of why it is so hard, and so important, to have events like the Civic Conversations IEI and our partners are convening. Among other things, I learned that to change a mind -- yours or someone else’s -- you have to start with a serious attempt to understand how people you disagree with see the world.

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Stephen De May joins IEI National Advisory Board

IEI is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen G. De May to its National Advisory Board.

“Stephen De May is the North Carolina president of Duke Energy, serving approximately 3.3 million electric retail customers and 717,000 natural gas customers."


ReCONNECT to Economic Opportunity Community Cohort Announced

IEI is excited to announce our ReCONNECT to Economic Opportunity community cohort: Beaufort County, Building with our Veterans (Mecklenburg County), Partnering for Prospering Communities (P4CP), Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. (OIC) of Rocky Mount and United Way of Greater Greensboro.

We chose five diverse initiatives each focused 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.

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Summer maintenance and upgrading to our commons area

IEI is embarking on an exciting digital signage enhancement project. Our 15 foot by 8 foot connections video wall in the Hunt Library is being transformed into a multisource visual experience with the potential for user driven engagement opportunities. IEI will use the upgraded connections wall to display data about our state, inform our communities and collaborate with partners to lift up and connect people and ideas.

We are collaborating with Carousel Digital Signage, NC State College of Engineering and College of Design, and the Institute for Advanced Analytics to take our digital signage capabilities to the next level. We look to provide engaging content in new formats and find unique ways to visualize data. The new hardware will allow IEI to present the experience in vibrant clarity via the design from DCommand with energy efficient NEC displays and custom computing power from Exxact Computers. Stay turned for more news on this project.


Celebrating Service with Johnson Service Corps

Service Year NC celebrated with Johnson Service Corps (JSC) as they wrapped up their service year at an event on June 25 at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Durham.

The end-of-year celebration included presentations by each of the corps members reflecting on their year of service and community.

Service Year NC director Darryl Lester attended the event to show support for the local service organization.

“Listening to the presentations of learning and service for the Johnson Service Corps was inspiring and heartwarming,” said Lester. “To hear the powerful stories of the various service year participants was so reaffirming on why all young people should have access to a year of service.”

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Congratulations Maggie Woods, 2019 TBJ 40 Under 40 Honoree

For the 18th year Triangle Business Journal will recognize 40 of the Triangle's best and brightest business and community leaders- all under the age of 40!

"I'm honored and excited to be named one of Triangle Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Award recipients," said Woods. "As an AmeriCorps alum, I know how important service is to our communities and our state, and I hope this award helps raise the profile of the important work IEI is doing to advance service and civic engagement around North Carolina."


Meet Kirsten Chang, IEI’s new Digital Communications Specialist

Kirsten Chang joined IEI in June 2019 as the Digital Communications Specialist, helping to tell stories of IEI’s impact in the state. She has a background in storytelling that includes writing and editing for radio, magazines, and children’s books. In 2017-18, she completed a service year with the Johnson Service Corps, assisting at a senior community center in Orange County. Kirsten received her undergraduate degree in English from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is originally from western North Carolina.

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IEI’s Service Year program teams up with Rural Faith Communities program for peer network webinars

IEI’s Service Year NC program has been teaming up with our Rural Faith Communities program more and more over the past year. Many North Carolinians can easily see the intersection of service and faith, and harnessing the power of formalized and grassroots service can strengthen the backbone of many rural communities with a long history of giving and growing together.

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Partner Spotlights

William C. Friday Dialogues for Civic Leadership
3rd Thursdays, Monthly
Thursday, August 15, 2019 - Thursday, December 19, 2019
5:30 - 7 p.m.
Southern Regional AHEC Education Center, 3rd Floor
1601 Owen Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28304 Click here to learn more


NC Chamber
Education and Workforce Conference
August 20, 2019
Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center
4700 Emperor Boulevard, Durham, NC 27703 Click here to learn more

October 15, 2019
ReCONNECT to Economic Opportunity
Charlotte, NC.
Registration Opens July 15!
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