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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NEWS SERVICES
210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


Not for publication

May 22, 2003 -- No. 299

Local angles: Durham, Siler City

Tar Heel Bus Tour faculty to visit community resource center, groundbreaking business

Friday, May 23
Thirty-two new faculty and administrators from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will visit Siler City and Durham on the fifth, and final, day of the 2003 Tar Heel Bus Tour. The visit will start at Saint Julia Catholic Church, with the bus tour group meeting with participants from the Chatham Family Resource Center. The center houses initiatives designed to help families adapt to changes in their community and was selected a "best practice site" by N.C.ís Smart Start in 2000.

In mid-afternoon, bus tour participants will visit N.C. Mutual Life Insurance Co., one of the nationís largest and oldest African-American institutions and considered an anchor tenant of "Black Wall Street" in the early 1900s. Many consider N.C. Mutual to be one of the most significant economic empowerment organizations in the history of the African-American culture.

Tour background:
The 1,040-mile tourís 13 educational stops from May 19 through May 23 are designed to teach new faculty about North Carolinaís people, geography, economy, culture, history, education system and health and social issues. The privately funded tour, which began in 1997, aims to help new faculty better understand the cities and towns where 82 percent of Carolina undergraduates grow up. They also see UNC outreach projects already under way and have opportunities to learn how their own research, teaching and public service activities tie in with the stateís needs.

Michael Smith, dean of the UNC School of Government, serves as tour leader.

Fridayís Carolina connections: Chatham County is home to 212 Carolina students and 1,166 Carolina alumni, and Durham County is home to 1,402 Carolina students and 8,595 Carolina alumni.

Fridayís highlights:

10 a.m. Saint Julia Catholic Church, Siler City
Issues also discussed at this visit will be state and local government response to the growing Hispanic population and subsequent need for Spanish language services.

Among those scheduled to participate in the session on the Chatham Family Resource Center are Dr. John Phillip "Phil" Sherrod, director of Chatham Primary Care; Woodrow "Woody" Hathaway Jr., chief executive officer at Chatham Hospital; Dr. Pam Frasier, research assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicineís department of family medicine; William "Bill" Lail, board chairman for the Chatham Family Resource Center and human services planner for Chatham County; and Dr. Jim Johnson Jr., William Rand Kenan Jr. distinguished professor of management, sociology and public policy, and director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center based in UNCís Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute.

2 p.m. N.C. Mutual Life Insurance Co., Chapel Hill St., 411 W. Chapel Hill St., Durham
Bus tour participants will receive a tour of the Mutual Heritage Room and speak with Bert Collins, president and chief executive officer of N.C. Mutual, and Charles D. "Chuck" Watts Jr., UNC Board of Visitors member and general counsel and corporate secretary for N.C. Mutual.

Andrea Harris, president of the N.C. Institute of Minority Economic Development, also is scheduled to be in attendance at the visit.

Other issues to be addressed during the visit are the impact of N.C. Mutual on Durhamís development and the role of the N.C. Institute of Minority Economic Development in African-American business development.

Interviews: Tour leader Michael Smith, dean of the UNC School of Government, and participants are expected to be available for print and broadcast interviews at stops. Media access will be unrestricted except where otherwise noted. During the tour, call Deb Saine of UNC News Services at (919) 962-8415 with questions about coverage, directions to tour stops or interviews. Or call News Services in Chapel Hill at (919) 962-2091.

More information is available at

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Contacts: For print inquiries, call Deb Saine, (919) 962-8415 or For broadcast-related inquiries, call Karen Moon, (919) 962-8595 (office) or (919) 218-2467 (cell).