Dear Carolina Community,
Welcome back from Spring Break!
Today marks the start of Carolina Engagement Week, a celebration of UNC-Chapel Hill’s deep connections across our state and the commitment we all share to serving the people of North Carolina. As the nation’s first public university, we are dedicated to extending our culture of collaboration and partnering with North Carolina’s communities.
Last year, we launched Carolina Across 100, a commitment to building partnerships and supporting good work in all 100 counties of our state. I visited Durham Tech last week to announce Our State, Our Work, a program that connects young adults who are out of work and out of school with promising career paths. Employers are eager to find skilled workers, and there are thousands of North Carolinians ready for a second chance at school and meaningful work. We are helping to bridge that gap.
Similar projects are taking shape all over our state, enhanced by Carolina’s research and resources, and we want all students to have an opportunity to take part. The School of Social Work is partnering with Cabarrus County to reinvent its model for alleviating poverty. Carolina K-12 trains hundreds of teachers every year to tackle our state’s fascinating history in the classroom. UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School helps colleges and other institutions direct more of their dollars to local business. As communities look to rebuild and rethink their priorities in the aftermath of the pandemic, it’s especially important for us to lean into our long history of being a critical resource for policymakers, community organizers, and everyone striving for a stronger North Carolina.
One of Carolina’s great strengths is that we bring together talented people from every region of North Carolina to meet the needs of our state. You can be a part of this effort, starting with some of the events we have planned for this week. The kickoff for the student Civic Hackathon starts today and on Tuesday you can hear more about Carolina Across 100 in the session on Measure What Matters.
Thoughtful and devoted people from every part of campus are involved in this work, which often means going above and beyond their regular responsibilities. I want to especially thank Anita Brown-Graham in the School of Government and Lynn Blanchard at the Carolina Center for Public Service, who have done so much to make Carolina a welcoming place for community and civic engagement.
Public higher education exists to play a useful and uplifting role in the life of our state, and I am grateful to all of you for making that mission a reality.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz