As part of the ReCONNECT NC series, we will host six Emerging Issues Forums over the next three years. Each forum will focus on a different topic centered on innovative strategies to address our loss of connection.  

At IEI, we believe that local communitieswith their traditions, willingness to work, and history of coming together in the toughest of times to solve the biggest of challenges—can help launch us on the path to reconnection. For each topic we address over the next three years, we will identify and collaborate with a cadre of communities—five places that have brought together diverse, energetic teams to implement new solutions that make them stronger and better equipped to succeed, and more “connected.” We see communities as the experts who can lead change and inspire others to become part of a more connected North Carolina.

ReCONNECT to Community

We will begin this work with our first Emerging Issues Forum in the ReCONNECT NC series, ReCONNECT to Community, focused on increasing the number of people working to make their communities stronger through civic engagement. People across our state are stepping away from community life, threatening our ability to solve our biggest challenges and maintain our economic competitiveness. The fall 2018 Emerging Issues Forum will explore this rise of disengagement and identify strategies to re-energize our citizens.

More information about ReCONNECT NC and the ReCONNECT to Community Emerging Issues Forum can be found at

How can your community get involved? 

IEI is now accepting applications from NC communities that are actively working on successful or promising initiatives, increasing civic engagement to address critical community challenges.

We are most interested in learning from community efforts that include, but are not limited to:

  • Using technology in new ways to increase community participation
  • Designing communities and spaces that facilitate citizen engagement
  • Creating innovative branding and marketing campaigns to encourage community or citizen involvement
  • Creating opportunities for civil dialogue across community divides
  • Exploring changes in organizational culture, policies and/or procedures to make participation easier or more accessible
  • Launching civic education and training initiatives
  • Engaging individuals and groups that have historically been under-engaged from civic society

We will also consider communities who have begun to organize around a civic engagement strategy, but have not yet begun to implement any activities.

Lead applicant agencies may include, but are not limited to, entities of local government, education institutions, businesses, non-profit organizations, and faith communities.

Applications are due no later than July 27, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. EST

Questions should be directed to Maggie Woods, IEI Policy and Program Manager, at

For more information or to apply, download the PDF document below.

Download the Call for Communities