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The Carolina Center for Public Service, UNC RURAL and other partners hosted the Connect, Engage, Transform: Rural Community Partnerships conference to bring together stakeholders from North Carolina’s rural communities and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to highlight and encourage authentic, effective and sustainable collaborations for the public good. The conference was an all-day event held on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill. At this conference we aimed to:

  • Connect: highlight collaborative partnerships between UNC-Chapel Hill and rural communities in North Carolina by bringing together participants and presenters
  • Engage: provide compelling and dynamic opportunities for interaction to support sustained and effective development of rural community partnerships
  • Transform: encourage learning from each other to inform and strengthen ongoing and future initiatives between rural communities and UNC-Chapel Hill to promote the well-being of all


Graphic record image created throughout the day representing the presentations and discussions from the conference. (A Visual Approach, Hope Tyson and Jaclyn Gilstrap |


The UNC Center for Health Equity Research was an exhibitor and the following CHER Associates and Community Partners presented the following:

  • Workshop: Participatory Budgeting Equitable Resources, Shared Decision Making and Practical Solutions
    • Giselle Corbie-Smith, MD, MSc, Director, UNC CHER
    • Stephanie Hoover, PhD, Research Scientist, UNC CHER
    • Mysha Wynn, MEd, Executive Director, Project Momentum, Inc.

  • Workshop: Story Sharing as Community Engagement: The MI-PHOTOS Project
    • Jada Brooks, PhD, MSPN, RN, FAAN, Assistant Professor, UNC School of Nursing
    • Kim Pevia, Community Leader, K.A.P. Inner Prizes
  • Poster: Surviving After Hurricane Matthew
    • Doris Stith, Executive Director, Community Enrichment Organization
    • Laura Villa-Torres, PhD, MSPH, Postdoctoral Research Collaborator, UNC CHER
Laura Villa Torres and Doris Stith presented poster on Surviving After Hurricane Matthew
Jamie Ede represents UNC CHER as an exhibitor
Graphic record image of the Cajas y Conversaciones workshop with Laura Villa Torres
Giselle Corbie-Smith moderated the plenary session panel