Academics

North Carolina communities’ challenges and solutions highlighted on public television

The UNC School of Government is highlighting community challenges and their potential solutions on a new show on UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina.

Anita Brown-Graham.
Anita Brown-Graham.

The UNC School of Government is highlighting community challenges and their potential solutions on a new show on UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina.

The new show, “ncIMPACT,” with sponsorship provided by Civic Federal Credit Union, is hosted by School of Government faculty member Anita Brown-Graham and started airing weekly earlier this month.

“’ncIMPACT’ is going to help local communities focus on challenges that are most important to them,” said Brown-Graham. “It’s going to provide them with two important resources to respond to those challenges. The first is data — good, solid, unbiased information that they can use to help them define the problem and figure out which levers to pull to fix it. We’re also going to inspire them with promising practices that will come from other places in North Carolina, across the country and across the globe.”

The “ncIMPACT” series launched in Pittsboro as Brown-Graham follows Chatham County’s efforts to encourage and recruit women to enter the fast-growing construction industry, where jobs are plentiful and critical but women are underrepresented. The second episode featured the City of Kinston who is devising unique ways to revitalize its downtown to attract not just visitors, but new residents.

Subsequent episodes look at how ordinary people in Winston-Salem are doing extraordinary things to increase pre-kindergarten access to improve workforce outcomes and how McDowell County is working to improve health access, with strategies such as paramedics making house calls to help people avoid costly trips to hospital emergency departments.

Brown-Graham added, “This television program will allow communities all across the state to learn from each other. To both recognize that their challenges are common challenges that other places are facing, but more importantly, perhaps, to be inspired by the stories of places that are tackling those problems successfully.”

In 2016, Brown-Graham launched the ncIMPACT initiative at the UNC School of Government to expand the school’s capacity to work with public officials on complex policy issues. Brown-Graham and her colleagues have developed programs to support communities working on challenges surrounding poverty and economic mobility, early childhood education, workforce development and opioid misuse.

Find individual episodes and web extras at unctv.org/ncimpact and find your local public television channel at the UNC-TV Public Media website.

New episodes will air as follows:

Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. — Pre-K Expansion in Winston-Salem

Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. — Rural Healthcare in McDowell County