Carolina Across 100
Carolina Across 100
Announcing the Carolina Across 100 Initiative
Get involved with Carolina Across 100
Check out the official Carolina Across 100 website to see all the exciting things that are happening!
Recommitting ourselves to be the University for North Carolina
Carolina Across 100 is the reaffirmation of Carolina’s commitment to ensure that the research-based insights generated on the campus reach all 100 counties across our state, especially when our communities need us most. Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz has charged Carolina Across 100 to serve as a five-year initiative that partners with cohorts of communities across the state as they work on their most challenging issues, many of which have been aggravated by COVID-19. The charge aligns with the University’s strategic plan, Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good, specifically to “Serve to Benefit Society.” This section of the plan calls UNC to “[e]ngage with communities and local governments to solve problems and improve lives.” While the plan is not limited to engagement in North Carolina, Carolina Across 100 is, and it offers scholars, staff, and students robust opportunities to partner with and learn from our state’s diverse communities.
Our next steps
We will begin our work by surveying and interviewing community members to determine the primary pain points for which the expertise at UNC is particularly well suited. The results of the survey and interviews will determine four to five focus subjects for Carolina Across 100.
We will prepare requests for participation around the focus subjects and select among communities that apply. Communities will be asked to apply as cross-sector teams of critical stakeholders that may include local government, nonprofits, faith leaders and local business representatives. The process has been used successfully by scholars on campus, and it allows us to partner with significant numbers of communities at the same time and to facilitate their partnership with each other.
We recognize that some counties may have no communities that apply due to capacity, motivation or trust constraints. While we value community collaboratives as a vehicle for addressing complex community issues, we will be flexible and engage communities in those counties in other ways. We will continually update and share resources for everyone to use on our Carolina Across 100 website (coming soon).
Four tenets guiding this work
There are many decisions yet to be made, but four basic tenets will guide this work.
- Focus on community collaborations that include people from different sectors, geographic boundaries, and perspectives coming together to address common opportunities and challenges.
- Develop a Carolina response that requires interdisciplinary teams to come together across the campus to partner with communities.
- Measure impact in ways that make clear how our campus partners effectively with communities on important issues. For an example of this approach to partnerships, see Opioid Response Project.
- Commit to working with communities in every North Carolina county to ensure statewide reach.
Leadership of this initiative
The Carolina Engagement Council serves as a campus-wide entity guiding Carolina Across 100. The ncIMPACT Initiative at the UNC School of Government (the School) will coordinate this initiative, led by School faculty member Anita Brown-Graham. This arrangement capitalizes on the School’s long history of deep, effective, and nonpartisan work in every county in North Carolina, and its current engagement in facilitating collaborations across campus.