Explore Elkin to be showcased at fall Emerging Issues forum

Staff Report
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RALEIGH — The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at North Carolina State University has selected the Explore Elkin initiative as one of its five community initiatives to be showcased at the Emerging Issues Forum “ReCONNECT to Community” in Asheville on Sept. 17. The Explore Elkin movement has dramatically increased civic engagement, enthusiasm and momentum for positive change throughout the community.

Explore Elkin joins four other community initiatives selected from over 30 applicants from across the state. These communities are actively working on successful or promising initiatives to increase civic engagement to address critical community challenges. Each community team will share their initiative with a statewide audience at the forum and receive additional training and technical support from IEI to amplify their work.

“At the Institute for Emerging Issues, we believe that local communities can help launch us on the path to reconnection,” said Maggie Woods, IEI policy and program manager. “Elkin is a very small town and is looking for ways to build civic engagement for local residents and make Elkin a go-to weekend destination.”

“The Explore Elkin initiative is important because it has given us a way to increase our community volunteerism and capacity, but it has also highlighted how even though all the diverse cultural and racial groups in the town are included, we aren’t reaching them at the same level, or seeing the same level of involvement as we do from some groups,” said Leslie Schlender of Explore Elkin.

The four other community initiatives selected are: Rural Opportunity Institute (Edgecombe County), Asheville City Schools Foundation (Asheville), One Team. One Goal. One Community (Elizabeth City), and Community Innovation Lab at the Institute for the Arts (Winston-Salem).

IEI’s Emerging Issues Forum “ReCONNECT to Community: Solving Problems Together for a More Prosperous Future,” is Sept. 17 at the Asheville Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville. Other speakers at the forum include New York Times journalist David Brooks, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, UNC Asheville Executive Director of Community Engagement Dr. Darin Waters, and North Carolina State University Provost Dr. Warwick Arden.

For more information and to register for the forum, visit emergingissues.org.

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Staff Report