N.C. A&T Cooperative Extension Invites Community to Grassroots Leadership Conference

By Karen Green / 10/14/2022

Jermaine M. Davis, Ed.D., professor of communication studies at Century College and organizational leadership at St. Catherine University (Minnesota), leads the general session during a Grassroots Leadership Conference at N.C. A&T.

NEW BERN, N.C. (Oct. 14, 2022) – The annual Grassroots Leadership Conference (GLC) comes to eastern North Carolina on Wednesday, Nov. 2, for an event where real people will discuss the issues they care about most and develop strategies for positive change.

The 2022 GLC – offered by  Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University – takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, 203 S. Front St., with the theme “Developing Community Resilience through Grassroots Empowerment.”

The GLC is free and open to the public; however, registration is required by Oct. 24 at http://bit.ly/grass22.  

Each year, the GLC brings together elected and civic leaders, volunteers, Extension professionals and audiences, farmers and business owners, families and youth to network, learn about community development initiatives, and identify strategies that support equitable decision making and problem solving in their communities. 

“In an era defined by constant change and difficult challenges, the communities we serve through Cooperative Extension at North Carolina A&T must be responsive and innovative to create new opportunities and meet new challenges head on,” said Michelle Eley, Ph.D., community and rural development specialist with Cooperative Extension at A&T. “Every community takes a slightly different approach, and many groups and communities are looking at their strengths and resources to move forward in a sustainable way.  Our job is to bring these groups together to share knowledge and ideas, learn from others, and come away inspired.”

Martha Walker, Ph.D., retired community viability specialist at Virginia Tech University and Virginia Cooperative Extension, will kick off the conference with a keynote address. Walker worked with counties, cities and state agencies in Virginia to assess community needs, facilitate community-based action plans, and identify university, state and federal resources to assist community development efforts.

In addition to the keynote, experts will present workshops on a variety of topics and successful community development efforts, including:

  • Using teens to build capacity and increase adult tech skills.
  • Supporting the resiliency of small farms through outreach and programming.
  • Building from the ground up: Creating pathways and connections for community change. 
  • Seeing deep culture: Entering communities respectfully.
  • Generating revenue for programming. 

“The goal of the conference is to inspire and influence people across North Carolina and to engage community leaders who have the authority to execute change,” said Eley. “We truly believe that effective change comes from people working together.”

For more information, call Eley or Karen Bustoz at 336-334-7956.

Media Contact Information: ksgreen3@ncat.edu

All News