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Raleigh | N&O Community Voices Panel on Bridging the Urban/Rural Divide

03/28/2018 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

The Triangle is prospering, but is there a way we can bring that prosperity to NC’s rural areas? Join us at this month’s Community Voices Forum to discuss how to bridge NC’s urban-rural divide.

A panel of experts on each subject will be discussing the topic at hand, followed by Q&A from guests.

The events are free but space is limited so please register ahead of time.

March 28th event: Bridging North Carolina’s Urban-Rural Divide

Four panelists will discuss how the split between North Carolina’s booming cities and its struggling rural towns puts the state out of economic and social balance and threatens its long-term prosperity.

The panelists:

Sen. Erica Smith, D-Northampton County, is a second-term state senator and former high school math and physics teacher. She has pushed for better schools and job development in northeastern North Carolina.

Rochelle Sparko, policy director of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. A lawyer, she advocates for fair farm and food policies and helps build connections between small farmers and urban customers. She also maintains Darko Urban Farm in Durham.

Dr. Robert Bashford, head of the UNC School of Medicine’s newly created Office of Rural Initiatives. He works to recruit and train the next generation of primary care physicians passionate about serving in rural North Carolina.

Patrick Woodie is president of the NC Rural Center, an economic development nonprofit that works to improve the quality of life in the state’s rural communities through small-business lending, leadership development, and community engagement. He is a former Alleghany County commissioner and head of the Blue Ridge Business Development Center.


7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Event Category:


News & Observer


NC Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St
Raleigh, NC 27601
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