Institute for Emerging Issues Monthly Digest - July 2020
Institute for Emerging Issues Monthly Digest - JUlY 2020


July 31, 2020
A Word from the Director | July 2020

Lifting Up the Laboratories of Democracy

The past twenty years have given all of us a steady set of reminders of what it means to live interconnected and interdependent in a global world. The past twenty weeks have given all of us an intense appreciation of what it means to think and act and live truly local. We’ve gotten to know our nearest parks, our neighborhood grocery store and every nook and cranny of our homes with a new degree of familiarity – we’ve learned where that owl’s nest is five minutes into the walk, what day the toilet paper comes in to the store. And that crack in the wall of our kitchen that we could ignore PC (pre-COVID-19) now screams at us every day.

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Register today for IEI Summer School Series

IEI’s Summer School Series will offer a number of online discussions, training, and workshops that will help communities work better together to identify challenges, problem-solve, and connect to resources. This four-part capacity building series will engage participants in virtual learning and sharing on the following topics: Civic Engagement, Storytelling, Adaptive Leadership, and Collective Impact.

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The digital divide - what it is and how it's affecting families in the COVID-era

For many of us, reliable Internet access is hardly given a second thought. In the midst of the COVID-era however — when work, school and life in general have had to shift almost entirely into the online world — the divide between those who have access to the Internet and those who do not has never been felt more deeply.

Read more at WRAL »
NC State's Institute for Emerging Issues launching a grant to help bridge digital divide

It's no secret that we rely on the Internet for almost everything — work, school, health care, entertainment, paying bills and more. In this new era of social distancing and remote everything, our dependence on digital connectivity has only grown.

Read more at WRAL »

Community Cohort Announcement Coming Soon

Thank you to the 14 communities that applied for the ReCONNECT to Move Forward: Mental Health and Well-Being community cohort. We look forward to introducing you to the selected communities early next week! Stay tuned for more.

Connect and Engage to Ensure the Future of Our State

IEI has launched a bold community-driven campaign called “Connect and Engage.” It’s a call to action for North Carolinians to come together to be forward-thinking, build capacity and have real conversations across differences to ensure a future for each and every person that calls NC home.

Learn more »


Save the Dates for ReCONNECT To Move Forward

COVID-19 is changing the way we live, learn, work and play. Our people and organizations are forced to chart paths through the present and into the future based on confusing and sometimes contradictory information, with consequences that will reshape lives. It’s a daunting challenge and a tremendous opportunity. This fall, IEI will highlight the people struggling to lead in these troubling times and look for emerging solutions that can meet the moment and position us to move forward into a better future.

Learn more »

Service Year NC Update

SYNC has been engaged in a number of strategic conversations with its advisory committee members and representatives from the N.C. Commission on Volunteerism & Community Service regarding the possibility of increased funds in service years from Washington DC. Take a look at this Legislative update from the Voice for National Service.

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MidSummer Liminality – What’s Our Job To Do?

The IEI faith team convened a Mid-Summer Zoom gathering of faith leaders (clergy and laity) and partners to discuss what’s going on within the network. John Dempsey Parker shares some themes from the conversation and questions for reflection.

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First in Future Podcast
For 11 weeks, First in Future: Connecting in Crisis focused on different aspects of the COVID-19 crisis, asking smart people across the state how we’re reacting and how we move forward in a productive way. Next, we presented Jumpstarting NC, where we talked about what recovery looks like as we try to jumpstart businesses, government, schools and learning. 

Now, we're in a series of conversations around early childhood learning focused on how we develop stronger systems in the midst of ongoing uncertainty. 

Meanwhile, we're still bringing you weekly audio-only interviews with people thinking big thoughts about the future of North Carolina. 

We want to hear what issues you'd like to learn more about. Contact us at with your ideas. 

Episode 210: From Crisis to Opportunity in Child Care
Episode 209: Racial Equity in Criminal Justice
Episode 208: Chair for the NC School of Science and Math Tom Looney
Episode 207: Parenting Education Beyond COVID-19
Episode 206: University Entrepreneur in Residence and a Professor of the Practice at UNC Buck Goldstein
Episode 205: Dr. Deepak Kumar and Juvencio Rocha Peralta on disproportionate COVID rates
Episode 204: Jumpstarting K-12 Learning

Subscribe and tune in for live episodes on Zoom and Facebook Live every Thursday at 9 a.m.!

Listen and Subscribe »



Partner Spotlights

Congratulations to Thread Capital
Thread Capital is now a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). CDFIs are private financial institutions dedicated to delivering affordable lending to help low-income and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream.
Learn more

United Way of NC COVID-19 Impact Survey
The impacts of COVID-19 has no doubt been felt by you, your family, and your organization. At community level, United Ways are adjusting their workplan strategies and fundraising efforts to ensure that families have resources to step out of unemployment, meet their basic needs, and determine how to best navigate their future. This 10 minute survey is now available for every household – in English and Spanish – to complete on or before August 21.
Take the survey

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