Community Success Forum – 2022 Event Recap

Community Success Forum – 2022 Event Recap

A Better Wake releases results of a year-long study to address systemic racism!

The Raleigh Chamber and The Triangle Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Alliance are proud partners in this movement to address systemic racism in our community. On Feb. 17, we hosted a Community Success Forum to provide more information about our community-wide initiative, “A Better Wake.”  

In partnership with RTI International, A Better Wake conducted a study to understand how to address systemic racism in the areas of economic mobility, education, criminal justice, and health. The event was attended by business professionals, young professionals, and busy adults who were eager to hear about the results of the blueprint story and the focus for addressing systemic racism going forward.

Sara Lawrence, economic development director at RTI International, gave us an overview of the blueprint and insight into why this initiative is so necessary for our community. A Better Wake built on efforts currently in the community to develop a thorough data assessment, the blueprint to reimagine systems, and a vital data dashboard. As Sara said, “Data dashboards can be powerful tools to spark conversations for policy change!”

After Sara discussed how we envision Wake County and the steps we all must take to get our community there, attendees heard from working groups members about their plans for the future and how they will work with the community to create real change.

​Our moderator for Community Success Forum was Danya Perry, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Wake County Government.
The Education flash panel featured:

  • Allison Goff Clark, deputy director of North Carolina programs at The Hunt Institute
  • Ashley Gaddy, founder and head consultant at Ashley Gaddy Enterprises
  • Cathy Moore, superintendent at Wake County Public School System

“If training, resources, implementation is going to roll out the administrators have to have the buy in, the rapport, the support, the belief that this something their teachers need, that all students need for an equitable environment.” – Ashley Gaddy
The Health flash panel featured:

  • Dr. Bahby Banks, adjunct faculty at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
  • Nanette Bowler, human services director at Wake County Health & Human Services
  • Dr. Angelo Moore, assistant director of community outreach, engagement, and equity at Duke Cancer Institute

“Instead of services driving the needs, we as a community have to start looking at, listening to the people, and understanding their needs!” – Nanette Bowler
The Economic Mobility flash panel featured:

  • Verna Best, social economic vitality program manager at Wake County Government
  • Lorena McDowell, director of the department of housing affordability and community revitalization at Wake County Government
  • Kevin J. Price, president and CEO of National Institute of Minority Economic Development
  • Dr. Scott Ralls, president at Wake Technical Community College

“It’s time for us to think boldly, think beyond the traditional pathways,” – Kevin J. Price
The Criminal Justice flash panel featured:

  • Daryl Atkinson, codirector and cofounder at Forward Justice
  • Lorrin Freeman, Wake County 10th Prosecutorial District Attorney
  • Donald Pinchback, chief court counselor at NC Department of Public Safety

“What can I do, as a human being, to give back and strengthen my community for its betterment?” – Donald Pinchback

In addition, attendees joined breakout sessions to discuss ways to support this important movement. We appreciate the community coming together for the A Better Wake blueprint accessed hereYou can now watch the 2022 Community Success Forum recording and learn more about the focus, goals, and action items A Better Wake will use going forward into implementation:

  • Sara Lawrence Presentation | 5:16
  • Flash Panel #1: Education | 20:30
  • Flash Panel #2: Health | 34:30
  • Flash Panel #3: Economic Mobility | 50:22
  • Flash Panel #4: Criminal Justice | 1:08:10
  • Closing | 1:26:45
We are committed to creating a vibrant, diverse, and sustainable business climate that encourages job growth, workforce development, and economic prosperity for all. We hope you will join us at our next Chamber Professional Women’s Luncheon on March 4 to celebrate International Women’s Day by honoring and learning from female advocates within our community who will share how they have changed the climate of inequality.

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Kassie Hoffman
Kassie pens down all the news from the world of politics on ANH.