Reconnect to Move Forward

SAVE THE DATES


September 24, 2020
Impact on Higher Education and the Future of Work

October 15, 2020
A Digitally Inclusive North Carolina

October 29, 2020
Mental Health & Well-Being

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 the Institute for Emerging Issues (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.

Similar to our past convenings, these meetings will create a space for national, state, and local leaders and community members to critically analyze and discuss what is working well and acknowledge what is not. Each meeting will be interactive and will identify behaviors, strategies, or policy ideas that increase equity and inclusion.

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The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) has scholarships available for those interested
who identify ticket price affordability as a barrier to participation.  

The scholarships will provide free admission to the virtual event. Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. For Impact on Higher Education & The Future of Work, the deadline to apply is Sunday, September 20, 2020. All applicants will be notified of their recipient status by Monday, September 21, 2020. For A Digitally Inclusive North Carolina, the deadline to apply is Sunday, October 11, 2020. All applicants will be notified of their recipient status by Monday, October 12, 2020. For Mental Health and Well-Being, the deadline to apply is Sunday, October 25, 2020. All applicants will be notified of their recipient status by Monday, October 26, 2020.  

 


Mental Health & Well-Being

October 29, 2020   |   8:30 – 11:30 a.m.

While everyone may not contract COVID-19, everyone’s mental well-being has been affected in some way by the pandemic. In addition to clinical mental health, many are experiencing loneliness, grief, and anger–whether from job loss, disconnection from family and social networks, or from societal inequities and COVID’s disproportionate impact on communities of color. Recent data reveals that adults experiencing signs of serious mental illness have increased eight-fold from 3.4% in 2018 to (28% during the pandemic). Young people are also being impacted during a crucial period of their development — missing their teachers and friends, and big life milestones.

This meeting will examine the increase in mental health challenges as a result of COVID-19 and how we address near-term needs while building support systems to thrive in a post-pandemic world. 

Recordings from the meeting will be made available for registrants to watch after the event.
 
Welcome and Introduction

  • Leslie Boney | Director, Institute for Emerging Issues

 
Mental Health and Well-Being During the Pandemic
Our physical and mental health are interconnected and this pandemic is affecting nearly everyone’s well-being in big and small ways. This session will explore the mental health care system’s response during COVID-19, examine the impact of racial health disparities on personal and community health, and provide practical care guidance that everyone can benefit from.
 
Speakers:

  • Cherene Caraco | Chief Executive Officer, Promise Resource Network
  • David Lucas “Luke” Smith, M.D. | Executive Director, El Futuro
  • Giselle Corbie-Smith, M.D. | Professor of Internal Medicine, Director, Center for Health Equity Research, Department of Social Medicine, UNC Chapel Hill
  • Moderator: Leah Brown | Chief Executive Officer, Acnos Pharma

 
Breakout Sessions

  • Advocacy Resources: One in five Americans had a diagnosed mental health condition prior to the pandemic. This session will overview resources for people experiencing mental health challenges, and provide information on how caring advocates can promote mental health and well-being for their loved ones at a time when connections to care networks have frayed.
    • Karen Gross | National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI) High Country
  • Anxiety and Stress: Chronic anxiety and stress can have a disastrous impact on physical and mental health. The brain is not wired for long-term stress response, which many of us are enduring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic persists, multiple stressors are compounding to increase mental health challenges for many of us. This session will help participants learn resilience strategies that enable them to manage the chronic stressors of daily life.
    • Sherry L. Tabron, MSW, LCSW | Therapist/Owner, Sherry Et El Counseling Services, PLLC
  • Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and Mental Health: The convergence of racism and the coronavirus pandemic have put a spotlight on Black mental health. Black communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, according to an April study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A series of high-profile Black deaths, and associated racial trauma, is an added mental health burden for minorities. This session will examine the dual impact that COVID-19 and persistent struggles for racial justice have on mental health outcomes in communities of color.
    • Kwesi Brookins, PhD | Department of Psychology, North Carolina State University
    • Ericka Ellis-Stewart | Director of Advocacy, Mental Health America of Central Carolinas
  • Connectedness During Physical Distancing: Practicing physical-distancing is a necessary precaution, but it also creates a sense of social isolation. This session will explore this tension, and identify ways to maintain and build community, and create shared space and bonding opportunities during COVID-19.
    • Marcela Cervantes-Torres | Assistant Director, Carolina Latinx Center, UNC Chapel Hill
  • Teens and Young Adults: Social interaction and burgeoning independence help young people learn about themselves and the world around them. COVID-19 has made these difficult due to stay-at-home orders, group gathering limits, and physical-distancing requirements. This session will provide practical ways for caregivers and other trusting adults to guide young people during this time, provide stability, protect their social-emotional well-being, and develop resilience during these uncertain times.
    • Kate Barrow | Community Engagement Specialist, NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services
    • Angel Bowers | Associate Director for Counseling and Prevention Services, North Carolina State University
  • Senior Support and Care: Seniors are more susceptible to increased health risks as they age, and COVID-19 further underscores their status as a vulnerable population. This session will explore the emotional and mental health distress in the aging community as a result of the pandemic, and provide resourceful information for caregivers and advocates of seniors.
    • Krista Westervelt | Development and Communications Director, Chatham County Council on Aging
    • Jennifer Link, MSW | Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Triangle J Council of Governments
    • Rebecca Freeman, MPH | Health Aging Specialist, NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services
  • Young Children: The coronavirus pandemic has created unique challenges for young children and their caregivers. Children thrive on routine, balance, and social interaction and depend upon responsive relationships with adults. This session will focus on how to support the social-emotional well-being of children. We’ll identify practical ways families, teachers, and caring adults can promote young children’s resilience during COVID-19 and beyond.
    • Ennis C. Baker, MSW, LCSW | ITTI Care Project Director, Duke Center for Child & Family Policy

 
Sharing Assembly

  • Alicia James and IEI Team

 
A Path Forward
This session will acknowledge the difficulty of these challenging times, and encourage us to reframe this moment in a way that reveals possibility and opportunity ahead.

  • Jaki Shelton Green | NC Poet Laureate

 
Closing

  • Leslie Boney | Director, Institute for Emerging Issues
Mental Health Resource Guide

Thank you to our meeting sponsors:

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Impact on Higher Education and the Future of Work

Thursday, September 24, 2020 

In 2019 the state of North Carolina adopted a bold new goal to dramatically increase the number of North Carolinians with a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential by 2030. Then…a pandemic happened, leaving hundreds of thousands of existing workers unemployed and hundreds of thousands of students uncertain about their future. Whole sectors of the economy are shutting down. The way people work, and learn, is changing. Even as higher education fights its way through the current crisis, new ideas are emerging — about increasing affordability, shrinking the achievement gap, synching degrees and credentials with demand, improving collaborations between higher education, the private sector and community groups and growing future leaders with the skills to chart a new course into the future.

This meeting will examine what we are learning about the impact of COVID-19 in higher education and how colleges and universities are adapting in the near-term to meet the needs of students in an inclusive and equitable way. We’ll also hear about how institutions of higher education are reimagining future approaches to support students, businesses and their communities.

The North State’s North Star
In 2019 the state of North Carolina adopted a bold new goal to dramatically increase the number of North Carolinians with a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential by 2030. Then…a pandemic happened, leaving hundreds of thousands of existing workers unemployed and hundreds of thousands of students uncertain about their future. Whole sectors of the economy are shutting down. The way people work, and learn, is changing. Even as higher education fights its way through the current crisis, new ideas are emerging — about increasing affordability, shrinking the achievement gap, synching degrees and credentials with demand, improving collaborations between higher education, the private sector and community groups and growing future leaders with the skills to chart a new course into the future.

Speakers

  • Leslie Boney | Director, Institute for Emerging Issues
  • Carol Quillen | President, Davidson College
  • Peter Hans | President, University of North Carolina System
  • Hope Williams | President, NC Independent Colleges and Universities
  • Bill Carver | Interim President, NC Community College System

Discussion Sessions
These active engagement sessions are a space for participants to share stories, information, and resources and learn from others across different sectors, regions and perspectives to explore how trends and the onset of COVID-19 are impacting higher education across North Carolina. These sessions will be facilitated by IEI staff but driven by participants. The more diverse the audience, the richer the discussion.

  • Complete.edu: Despite decades of effort, jarring “achievement gaps” remain when it comes to college enrollment and degree completion, especially among students of color, students from rural communities and first generation students. The stresses of the pandemic may exacerbate these challenges or offer new opportunities. What are we discovering about how to improve access, affordability and completion?
  • Future U: Technological change and the nature of work continues to evolve. Some jobs are disappearing and others are emerging: COVID-19 is only accelerating the rate of change. How can we strengthen partnerships between education and employers to ensure that degrees and credentials are aligned with what employers need? And how can employers best support the reskilling of their workforce?
  • Civic Leadership: Campus to Community During and following the pandemic communities face both long-term and new challenges within and across racial and ethnic divides. Colleges and universities have many assets that make them uniquely positioned to offer support. How can higher education best support communities and raise up a new generation of servant leaders to take on these challenges? How is civic engagement programming changing as campuses move virtual and what are the biggest challenges and opportunities?
  • Open Space Circus Higher Ed Discussion: A space to discuss other topics that meeting participants want to address. Bring your ideas, observations, passion, and anxieties. Consider this the hallway, the backroom, that place to really talk.

Sharing Assembly
This session will feature higher education students who will share how they are feeling in this moment, what they need from the higher education system in order to succeed, and offer key takeaways from each of the listening sessions.

Speakers

  • Leslie Garvin | Executive Director, NC Campus Compact
  • Jason Fyle | AB Tech, Class of 2021, AAS HVAC
  • Melanie Flowers | NC State University, Class of 2021, BS Communication, (concentrated in) Public Relations
  • Dametri S. Pratt | Fayetteville State University, Class of 2023, BS in Psychology

Leading in Transformation
Higher education leaders are dealing with the impact of COVID-19 today, even while adapting and innovating to meet the needs of the future.

Speakers

  • Randy Woodson | Chancellor, NC State University
  • Kim A. Wilcox | Chancellor, University of California, Riverside
  • William Serrata | President of El Paso County Community College District

A Vision for the Future
Transformation is coming and we can either roll with it or lead it. It will require a transformational mindset, and these remarks will speak to the five key elements of transformation in education, highlight examples of transformation in higher education across the nation and learn how students are responding.

Speaker

  • Kelly Young | President, Education Reimagined

Closing

Speaker

  • Leslie Boney | Director, Institute for Emerging Issues

Thank you to our meeting sponsors: Higher Ed Works, NC Independent Colleges and Universities, John M Belk Endowment

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A Digitally Inclusive North Carolina

October 15, 2020   |   9:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m.

COVID-19 is exposing the digital divide in North Carolina and its consequences for all of us. Students and adults who don’t have access to the internet, don’t have a computer or laptop or don’t know how to use them – for education, work, health, or connection – are at an impossible disadvantage. It’s clear that access to the Internet is a lifeline. Great strides have been made in recent months to bridge the digital divide across the state and nation, but not all are equitable or sustainable in the long-term. 

This meeting will highlight the changing landscape of digital inclusion in North Carolina since the February 10, 2020, Emerging Issues Forum, ReCONNECT to Technological Opportunity, and what partnerships and investments are needed to ensure that all communities across our state, regardless of race, income, or geography, have access to this critical lifeline now. With an ever-changing technological landscape, we’ll also discuss how to ensure flexibility to meet our future digital needs. 

Where Are We Right Now?
On February 10, 2020, the Institute for Emerging Issues brought state and local leaders together to discuss the urgency of fixing North Carolina’s digital divide. One month later, COVID-19 highlighted just how critical the need really is. Communities mobilized, businesses pitched in, and state and national leaders made significant investments and implemented much needed policy. And it’s helped some North Carolinians tremendously. But far too many are still left behind. This session will discuss where we are right now and what state and national policy decisions have been made–and not made–when it comes to digital inclusion.

Speakers

  • Leslie Boney | Director, Institute for Emerging Issues
  • Keynote: John Burchett | Director of Policy and Community Affairs, Google Fiber
  • Moderator: James Amato | Manager, Strategic Business Development, WRAL Digital Solutions

 
Discussion Sessions
These active engagement sessions are a space to hear about the real-time digital inclusion challenges being experienced by local communities and hear from experts and other participants on promising solutions. Participants are encouraged to share stories, information, and resources and learn from others across different sectors, regions and perspectives. These sessions will be facilitated by IEI staff but driven by participants. The more diverse the audience, the richer the discussion.

  • Remote learning solutions for underconnected students with Arlane Gordon-Bray, IZONE Community Engagement Partner at Edgecombe County Public Schools and Caroline Sullivan, Executive Director, North Carolina Business Committee on Education
  • How community groups, churches, and businesses can provide public broadband? with Sara Nichols, Regional Planner, Land of Sky Regional Council and Rishara Finsel, Library Director, Transylvania County Library
  • What is a ‘digital navigator’ and how do I get one? with Paolo Balboa, Program Manager, National Digital Inclusion Alliance and Nan Buehrer, Executive Director & Anna Eagle, Fitness and Wellness Manager at Rufty-Holmes Senior Center
  • Help! How do I provide digital literacy classes…virtually? with Dawn Gibson, Executive Pastor, Peletah Ministries and Gwenn Weaver, Independent Consultant and Board Member, Durham Literacy Center
  • Digital Inclusion 101 and why your community should have a digital inclusion plan with Amy Huffman, Digital Inclusion and Policy Manager, Broadband Infrastructure Office

 
Getting Off The Hamster Wheel
How do we stop having the same conversations and finally do what’s necessary to move towards digital equity? This session will address how we move from stop-gap measures to policy change, the true cost of achieving digital inclusion and the public/private partnerships needed to make North Carolina the first in digital equity.

Speakers

  • Dr. Nicol Turner Lee | Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, and Director for the Center for Technology Innovation, Brookings
  • Jayme Danzig | Director, Education and Employment, Rocket Community Fund
  • Kathryn de Wit | Manager, Broadband Research Initiative, The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Thomas Parrish | Acting Secretary for the NC Department of Information Technology

Thank you to our meeting sponsors:

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SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR SERIES SPONSORS

Sponsors for ReCONNECT to Move Forward