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Edgecombe Co. Rural Opportunity Institute to be showcased at Emerging Issues Forum

The following is a press release from the Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State

The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at North Carolina State University has selected Edgecombe County’s Rural Opportunity Institute to be showcased at the Emerging Issues Forum “ReCONNECT to Community” in Asheville on Sept. 17, 2018.

The Rural Opportunity Institute 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,” explained Maggie Woods, a policy and program manager at IEI. “We were impressed by how this collaboration is addressing critical issues through innovative community trainings and coalition building.”

“Rural Opportunity Institute chose to apply because we have been inspired and energized by the diverse, cross-sector leadership and commitment to creating a trauma-informed, resilience-focused community,” said Vichi Jagannathan, co-founder of Rural Opportunity Institute.

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

IEI’s Emerging Issues Forum “ReConnect To Community: Solving Problems Together for a More Prosperous Future,” is Sept. 17, 2018 at the Asheville Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville, NC. Other speakers at the forum include New York Times columnist David Brooks, North Carolina Gov. 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  

About the Institute for Emerging Issues:

Housed at North Carolina State University, the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) is a nonpartisan public policy, “connect-think-and-do” tank focused on North Carolina’s future prosperity. Please visit for more information.


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