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ReCONNECT to Community

Sep 29, 2021

Director’s Log | September 2021

5-4-3-2-1…Ignition! IEI prides itself on facing forward, looking around the corner to see what big challenges and opportunities are coming to North Carolina, then asking you what we can do… 

Aug 3, 2021

Mixxer Community Makerspace (Reconnect to Community)

Mixxer is a makerspace: a building kitted out with a wide array of hardware, ranging from lathes, drill presses, and sewing machines to laser cutters, 3D printers, and arduino kits.… 

Jul 7, 2021

Explore Elkin (Reconnect to Community)

Explore Elkin is a lean organization that works to promote development, tourism and community engagement in the Elkin/Jonesville region. The organization itself has become something of an obligatory passage point… 

Jun 28, 2021

Project Empathy (Reconnect Rural & Urban)

We live in fractious times, where so much media (now exquisitely tailored to capture our individual attention) compounds and often distorts both real and perceived problems. Through social media feeds,… 

Jun 18, 2021

Choosing Social Equity Series (Reconnect to Community)

The challenge of the Choosing Equity Series (CES), led by the Asheville City Schools Foundation (ACSF), is overcoming deep-rooted issues of race and equity and, as director Copland Rudolph puts… 

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Feb 2, 2021

First in Future: Sarah Langer Hall

In this episode of First in Future, we have the first five time guest, Sarah Langer Hall, the Institute for Emerging Issues Senior Policy and Program Manager. We talk with her about the 35th Emerging Issues Forum, which happens virtual over four days with a range of exciting guests. We learn how she pulls it all together, what she has learned along the way and attending this forum, what will we come away with. 

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Jan 26, 2021

First in Future: Mark Burrows

The percentage of people showing “empathy” has nosedived over the past 40 years – down 48%. Four years ago, a group in Transylvania County decided to do something about it. Project Empathy has led to tough conversations about guns, racial equity, rural urban divides and other topics. Two years ago, IEI lifted up the program as one of five state examples of how to “connect rural and urban.” Project manager Mark Burrows talks with us about what he has learned, and is learning, about the power of empathy. 

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Dec 22, 2020

First in Future: Laura Marx and Anita Barker of the United Way

When the pandemic hit, calls to United Way NC's 211 line for assistance tripled. Now the organization has taken a close look at what is happening to families across the state during the pandemic. No surprise there are a lot of people that are hurting. We talk with Laura Marx and Anita Barker about some of the surprising findings of their new survey and how people across the state can help respond to the needs. 

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Nov 10, 2020

First in Future: The Ties That Bind Us (part 2) – Dante Pittman

This is part of a three episode series of First in Future, where we want to focus on community, specifically what people and places in North Carolina are doing to make the places we live special. Small towns everywhere complain about "brain drain", young educated people who move away for college and don't come back. In the second part of our series on what makes the places we live special, we talk with Dante Pittman, who chose to move back home to Wilson, NC, with the help of a new effort called "Lead for North Carolina." And we explore the question: how do we retain and retrain and stop brain drain? 

May 29, 2020

Civic Conversations In Time Of Pandemic

Summary: Leslie Boney, Director of the Institute for Emerging Issues, hosts a series of virtual conversations discussing the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) and some of the ways our state is…