Meet the Contributors
Kevin is a senior legislative performance auditor focused on evaluating tax expenditures, as well as a political risk analyst in Denver, Colorado. He was formerly the managing editor of an online news/analysis publication and a product manager for an online budget simulator at a civic engagement consultancy. Kevin has conducted research, run the operations of a solar energy startup, and worked on grassroots development/social entrepreneurship across West Africa.View PostsClose
I’m Philip Azar. I am a semi-retired attorney. I practiced law in Washington, D.C., Dubai, U.A.E., and Memphis, TN before moving to Durham, N.C. in 2005. In Durham, whether working for the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate and Clean Energy Durham or participating in community and neighborhood groups such as the InterNeighborhood Council of Durham, Trinity Park Neighborhood Association, Old East Durham Communities in Partnership, Northeast Central Durham Leadership Council, and Southwest Central Quality of Life Project or making an unsuccessful run for city council, I’ve had excellent opportunities to witness communities and neighborhoods seek to define and achieve their ambitions. Prior to coming to Durham, my professional privileges included serving as general counsel to a FedEx subsidiary and being the Legal Advisor, Office of the Director General, The Economic Department, The Government of Dubai. Son of Rose Theresa Connell and Henry Amin Azar, I’m a combination of Irish and Syrian/Lebanese/Armenian and try to apply different perspectives and skills to my community work. I try to be aware of and acknowledge publicly real and perceived tensions between my community work and my ownership of 3 duplexes. (For example, I have purchased duplexes with community support and avoided others at the request of community.)View PostsClose
Omaha, Nebraska native, Dan Bagley, moved to Raleigh North Carolina in 2006 with his wife and NC State Lecturer Kate Lavia-Bagley. He received his undergrad in Recreation Education and Masters in Recreation Administration from the University of Nebraska. Over the past eight years, Dan worked as the Director of Green Road Community Center where he developed numerous programs for the community and surrounding areas. He also worked with many nonprofit agencies at that time such as the Boys and Girls club and Wake County Health and Human Services. In February 2014, he took a new position with the City of Raleigh’s Housing and Neighborhood Division as a Community Services Specialist where he has a passion for connecting and building strong communities. In 2008, Kate and Dan’s family grew when their triplets Emilia, Quinn and Grace were born. Their son, Quinn, who has Hydrocephalus and Cerebral Palsy, inspired Dan and Kate to start their own organization in 2011 called Beyond Special Needs. It allows families with special needs children to share stories and ask questions, share or sell used equipment, and find therapists to help their children in every possible way. Dan very much looks forward to continuing his work in community development!View PostsClose
Correspondent with the Fayetteville Observer, Former Communications Chairperson for the Fayetteville Branch NAACP; MPA from Walden University 2010; Magnanimity Documentary Director; and a professional photographer.View PostsClose
Brian Bowman is an instructor at Campbell University in the field of Converged Media and Journalism. His classes emphasize storytelling as a steadfast component of communication.
Bowman was a news reporter at WRAL and WNCT for several years prior to managing public relations efforts for two North Carolina municipalities.
He is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and Campbell University.View PostsClose
Sabrina Colón is a Communications and Community Engagement Specialist with the City of Charlotte. She is responsible for developing and executing innovative citywide initiatives aimed at educating residents on how local government works and connecting them to resources with the ultimate goal of empowering residents to take an active role in the process. Prior to working with local government, Sabrina worked in non-profit communications targeted at refugee resettlement, foster care and supportive housing. Sabrina received her BA in Communications from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.View PostsClose
Emily Edmonds currently serves as the Extension & Outreach Program Manager for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, a partnership of North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
She holds an MPA from UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked in local and regional food systems and economic development through a variety of projects across the East Coast.
More about her work with food system economic development is available at www.ncgrowingtogether.org.View PostsClose
Cate Elander is a Program Manager at MDC, supporting the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Great Expectations initiative. She is identifying best practice and emerging research in the early childhood field to inform the initiative’s strategy, and helping shape a family engagement strategy that brings family voice to the center of systems change work in Winston Salem and Forsyth County. Cate most recently managed outreach and community-based programming at the East Durham Children’s Initiative, and has 10 years of experience supporting community engagement with place-based community development initiatives in Durham, Delaware, and New York City.View PostsClose
Traci Ethridge is the assistant director of Corporate Communications & Marketing for the City of Charlotte. Having worked for the city since 2006, she has been involved in many key initiatives, one of those being an effort to enhance engagement between local government and the community.
Traci has extensive experience in the communications field and has worked with non-profits and government agencies in both Virginia and North Carolina.View PostsClose
Katy Harriger, is Professor and Chair of the Politics and International Affairs Department, at Wake Forest University (WFU). Katy teaches in the American politics field and does research on the civic engagement of young people, with a particular interest in deliberative dialogue. Katy has organized deliberations with community groups in Winston-Salem and student participants at WFU.View PostsClose
I am Stephen Hopkins; I’m a 58 years old single father living in Durham North Carolina. I was born here and love the County and city of Durham. I have served on several city boards and have been a community leader for many years. I was a member of the Durham Housing Authority Board, Durham Housing Appeals Board and the Durham Homeless Serves Advisory Committee. I’ve held community leadership positions as PAC 1 Co-Facilitator, Durham’s NAACP Housing Chair, Few Gardens Resident Council President, The Old Five Point Neighborhood President, Co-Facilitator for the Campaign for Safe, Decent and Affordable Housing and the Northeast Central Durham Leadership Council.
I have worked as a community organizer for the past 22years. I’ve worked as a organizer for the Durham Housing Authority and then for Durham Affordable Housing Coalition. I worked as a property manager for Moe Geo LLC and RDC Construction.
I believe I have some ideals about community engagement and what it means to low income communities that might help with some of the issues facing communities all across North Carolina today.View PostsClose
Rachel Kelly currently serves as Director of Public Policy for the City of Burlington where she directs the City’s Public Information Department, acts as the City’s legislative liaison, and works closely with the Animals Services Department. Before joining the City of Burlington in 2011, she served as the Town Clerk of Oak Ridge, NC. Rachel is interested in all things local government, especially citizen communication and engagement. She received her MPA from UNC- Greensboro in 2009.View PostsClose
Catherine Lazorko is Communications Manager for Town of Chapel Hill, NC, with interests in new content creation, strategic planning, and partnerships. She is the former communications director for NC State University College of Design and UNC School of Information and Library Science and also formerly a newspaper reporter including El Paso Times. She is a past president of the NC City & County Communicators (NC3C). She is also a Philadelphia native, marathoner, optimist, and creative doer.View PostsClose
Jake LevitasView PostsClose
Beth McKee-Huger is a deacon in the Episcopal Church, ordained to lead the church in serving people in need. She has a Master’s in Social Work and has focused on affordable housing since 1988, as Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity, Mary’s House, and Greensboro Housing Coalition.
Now “retired,” she grows vegetables for the Greensboro Farmers Market and continues to advocate for our community to offer opportunities for everyone to have a good place to live.View PostsClose
I’m an associate professor of public administration and government at the UNC School of Government in Chapel Hill, NC. My research, teaching, and consulting focuses on collaborative governance, community engagement, and public leadership. I am particularly interested in citizens academies and other efforts to build capacity for effective community engagement. In May, 2017 a long-time project of mine, The Citizens Academy Handbook, was published. Follow me on Twitter. @MorseSOG.View PostsClose
I work with NC public officials on public participation, collaboration, negotiation and public dispute resolution. I teach MPA students in mediation and facilitation. I am eager to listen carefully to “regular citizens” views on their public participation experiences, and see how we can learn from one another. One “practical guide” that I co-wrote with two School of Government colleagues is: Public Outreach and Participation.View PostsClose
Hello, my name is Clarence Terry and here is a small bio about where I’m from and just a few of the organizations that I am involved with in Durham, NC. I came to Durham, NC from Washington, D.C., where in most part I resided all of my life. Born and raised there by two loving parents (Annette Holmes and Henry Hamilton). I grew up as a child in a very low income area of D.C. known as Southeast, where just making it was the best you could do and to hope for. Well enough about my childhood, now let’s move on to what I do now here in Durham, specifically Old East Durham. I am a community leader with the non-profit organization known as Old East Durham Communities in Partnership (usually called, “CIP”). We formed five years ago and have been doing great work in our community since then. I am also a member of several other organizations such as F.A.D.E (Fostering Alternative Drug Enforcement), OARNC (Organizing Against Racism, North Carolina). I have received two awards since doing this work and they are, Community Organizer of the Year for Durham, N.C. by UE (Underground Equity), in 2012, and was also given the Neighborhood Heroes Award for 2015, by the InterNeighborhood Council, which is their highest award presented.View PostsClose
Melody Warnick is the author of This Is Where You Belong (Viking, 2016), a book about what makes people love the towns where they live, and why it matters. She lives in Blacksburg, Virginia. For more about Melody and her work, see http://melodywarnick.comView PostsClose