Institute for Emerging Issues Monthly Digest - August 2019
Institute for Emerging Issues Monthly Digest - September 2019 


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

A Tale of Two Countries (or States)?

If you are a fan of cohesive communities, it is the worst of times. But it is also the best of times. It is an age of foolishness, but maybe, just maybe, it is also an age of wisdom and inspiration.

I don’t need to tell you about the “worst of times” and “foolishness” part. It is splashed over your TV, dumped into your Twitter feed or oozing out of your paper. This week, it’s played out with blown whistles, impeachment proceedings, accusations of state budget shenanigans and calls for lie detector tests.

The “best of times” and wisdom don’t attract the same headlines, but it is important to be reminded that they exist. The annual MacArthur “Genius” awards are one sort of inspiration, but you can also find it closer to home. Just in the past couple of days, I’d like to share five times I’ve “caught” people being generous and inspiring me – selfishness or partisanship be damned.

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ReCONNECT to Economic Opportunity: Speaker Update

Join us on October 15, 2019, in Charlotte, as we focus on creating and strengthening pathways to sustainable wage employment for existing workers, examine ways to connect adult workers to information about sustainable-wage employment, identify accessible education opportunities and promote programs that remove non-academic barriers to, and provide support for, postsecondary education.

We will be joined by Governor Roy Cooper, Peter Hans (NC Community College System), MC Belk Pilon (John M. Belk Endowment), Stephen De May (Duke Energy), Dr. Laura Colson McLean (Johnson C. Smith University), Honorable D. Craig Horn (NC House of Representatives – Union), Reginald Bean (Coca-Cola Consolidated) and many more!

Learn more and Register »

Highlighting our ReCONNECT to Economic Opportunity Communities

As part of the ReCONNECT to Economic Opportunity forum, we chose five communities to tell their story of economic opportunity. Here's a sneak peek!

Learn more when they present at the Reconnect to Economic Opportunity forum in Charlotte on October 15!

Click here or the video image below.


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Randolph KidsReadyNC Celebrates Successes

The Randolph KidsReadyNC community celebrated the completion of its 18-month program at a banquet on September 26 in Asheboro. Core members shared an overview of their work, giving testimonies of why they dedicated their time to it and want to continue their efforts. Randolph County Public Health Director Susan Hayes said the KidsReadyNC effort “has been one of the finest things I’ve been involved in in my career. It was an opportunity to learn what makes our children successful.”


IEI and ProductCampRTP Partner for NC’s Moonshot

What happens when some of the brightest minds team up to take a shot at NC's biggest policy challenges? We partnered with ProductCampRTP to find out. On September 25, we gathered at Hunt Library to hear “moonshot” ideas from entrepreneurs, market innovators, product developers and other thought leaders.

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Local Leaders Gather in Washington, DC for Service Year Summit

Service Year NC Director Darryl Lester attended the first-ever Community ChangeMaker Summit in Washington, DC, from September 23-25. Service Year Alliance gathered participants from 38 communities across the country to share insights and strategize ways to use service years to solve local needs. Service Year NC is one of ten groups in the country that “are creating blueprints for how to tackle big, systemic issues while making communities stronger and more cohesive,” said Jesse Colvin, CEO of Service Year Alliance. “Service years are a powerful mechanism for workforce development and addressing local needs, and this summit will lay the groundwork for scaling service years so that every city, state, region, and town can utilize this essential community development tool.”

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A Note from Kylie Foley, IEI’s Rural Faith Program Manager

I never cease learning from John Parker. From the beginning of IEI’s work with faith communities, he’s been our “consultant on the ground” in the title but so much more in spirit. As we prepare to welcome 60 faith leaders through The Duke Endowment to our ReCONNECT To Economic Opportunity Forum, I’m called out of the fog of statistics and catering menus. Faith leaders have been telling us what they care about: the journey. A spiritual journey, a justice journey, the journey of humanity. A lot of that intersects with how people work and take care of their families, but the themes John ponders in this guest post are why we do what we do: to listen and absorb rural faith leaders’ stories and ideas around us.

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ICYMI, listen to the episodes from First in Future’s Charlotte Week—a week of episodes with special guests from the Queen City.


Partner Spotlights

Energizing Rural NC
Oct 8-9
Sanford, NC Click here to learn more

ncIMPACT Initiative - Regional Sessions to Inform the NC Strategic Economic Development Plan
Raleigh, NC – Oct 1
Williamston, NC – Oct 3
Kernersville, NC – Oct 9
Jacksonville, NC – Oct 24
Lenoir, NC – Oct 29
Cherokee, NC – Oct 30 Click here to learn more

NC Rural Assembly
Presented by The NC Rural Center
November 21-22
Raleigh, NC Click here to learn more

Rural Works! Program
NC State's Rural Works! summer internship program connects employers in rural communities with talented NC State students. Rural Works! welcomes private, public, government, and non-profit organizations in rural communities to host an intern for summer 2020.
Click here to learn more


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