Alumni Newsletter: Spring Issue 2021
Welcome our newest addition to the team: Emily Holder!
We are thrilled to welcome and introduce to you Emily Holder, our new Leadership and Engagement program associate! Emily provides support to our leadership training programs and community engagement work, including leading efforts to engage the Leadership Alumni Network by connecting alumni to resources and professional development and providing opportunities for peer networking and learning. 

Emily is originally from High Point, North Carolina, where she developed her passion for volunteerism and nonprofits. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in nonprofit studies from North Carolina State University, and a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. Emily returned to Raleigh after working in the nonprofit sector in Danville, Virginia where she built an appreciation for small town life. 

She is excited about advancing rural economic resiliency through leadership development and getting to know all of the leadership alumni.

Stay tuned for upcoming alumni events and opportunities to connect and engage!
We're Looking for the Next Cohort of
Homegrown Leaders!
Alumni, we need your help in recruiting the next group of Homegrown Leaders! If you know any passionate, committed leaders in your community or a REDI alumnus looking for a dynamic refresher course in rural leadership, our next Homegrown Leaders training takes place on July 20-22, 2021 in New Bern. Homegrown Leaders is a three-day, regional leadership and community economic development training that equips existing and emerging leaders with the skills they need to lead long-term economic advancement in their community and region.
Applications are open now to participants in the following counties: Beaufort, Bertie, Carteret, Craven, Greene, Lenoir, Pamlico, or Pitt. Please take the time to share this training with your networks. For more information or to apply, click the 'Apply Today' button belowDeadline for applications is June 11, 2021.
Rural Center Welcomes Newest Homegrown Leaders Alumni!
We are proud to welcome 40 new Homegrown Leaders into our Leadership Alumni Network from the following counties in Eastern North Carolina: Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Johnston, Jones, Onslow, Sampson, and Wayne! These graduates completed the Rural Center's virtual Homegrown Leaders training on February 24-26, 2021. We are very excited to see what these bright leaders accomplish in their communities and look forward to a continued partnership.

Remember you can view a list of all of our leaders in our Alumni Network Database.
Both new and seasoned alumni alike can add your certification to your LinkedIn profile by following these instructions.

You can also join us in the Leadership Alumni Network Facebook Group where we share resources, post training opportunities, and connect with other leaders across the state.
The North Carolina Small Business Coalition along with its accompanying policy agenda, North Carolina's New Small Business Plan: A Pathway to Prosperity for All, seek to ensure entrepreneurs and small-business owners across the state have equal access to the capital, resources, and tools needed to prosper. Through a combination of engagement opportunities, policy advocacy, and partner resources, the North Carolina Small Business Coalition will work to ensure the voices of our state's small business owners are heard from our rural, urban, and suburban main streets to Jones Street in Raleigh.

Now is the time to advocate for and implement long-term and statewide policy solutions to stabilize the economic vitality of our state’s small-businesses. Will you add your name to a growing network of more than 200 small business advocates today?
Save the Date: Western Prosperity Zone Community-Based Grants Initiative Workshop
Save the date to join the Golden LEAF Foundation and NC Rural Center for the Community-Based Grants Initiative workshop for the Western Prosperity Zone on Tuesday, June 15, from 1 - 3:30 p.m. This workshop will provide an in-depth look at the CBGI grant application process, including instructions on the Letter of Intent (LOI) and funding timeline. Information will also be provided on how to find and use data sources to inform your project design. We will end the day with a panel featuring current CBGI grantee projects that will provide advice for applicants, tracking outcomes, and due diligence.

For more information and to register, click the 'Register Here' button below.
Show Your Support for Closing the
Health Insurance Coverage Gap in NC
Care4Carolina (C4C) is a growing coalition of 90 organizations representing 83 North Carolina counties, but they need our help. C4C is aiming to add more than 10 organizational members to represent all 100 counties across North Carolina. These new members could be health organizations, businesses, governmental organizations or other coalitions. There are more than 600,000 North Carolinians that fall within the healthcare coverage gap. It’s time for a solution. Join the 90 other organizations who’ve shown their support.

Join the Care4Carolina coalition—sign on to show your support for closing the health insurance coverage gap in our state by clicking the 'Join the C4C Coalition' button below.
Register today for the May 26th NC Rural Coalition Fighting COVID-19 Zoom conversation with Beth Lovette, deputy director of the North Carolina Division of Public Health. Lovette will provide a “State of the State” snapshot of the most current COVID-19 prevention initiatives, vaccination efforts, and data points.

Alumni News & Updates
Mural Honors Civil Rights History in Old Fort
Pictured: Old Fort Mural Documentary depicting Albert Joyner who advocated for the desegregation of schools in 1955.
Paula Swepson (REDI 2017, HGL 2018) and Dawna Ledbetter (REDI 2018) both of the West Marion Community Forum, contributed to the realization of the mural in their community.

Learn more about the mural and the civil rights history of Old Fort in this article.
Alumni in the News
Featuring William Doerfer (REDI 2016)
The Daily Herald
Featuring Chester Williams (HGL - East 2020)
Care Share Health Alliance
Featuring Weyling White (REDI 2015)
The Daily Tar Heel
Featuring Misty Herget (REDI 2009)
The Sampson Independent
Featuring Mary Rose (HGL - East 2021)
Duplin Times
Featuring Carrie Shields and Elizabeth Stalls (HGL - East 2021)
Business North Carolina
Featuring Alumni Such As Scott Hamilton (REDI 1997), Patrick Woodie (REDI 1995). Search the list to see if you recognize any other outstanding Leadership Alumni!
Smoky Mountain News
Featuring Tiffany Henry (REDI 2015)
Partner Events & Resources
Request for Proposals: North Carolina Healing Communities Fund (Rolling applications beginning May 3, 2021)
If you have an upcoming event, noteworthy news, or other information that you would like to share with your leadership alumni network, please contact Emily Holder, Program Associate, at
For more information or to join the conversation: | @ncruralcenter