RALEIGH, NC— Erica Powell of Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center recently graduated from the Rural Economic Development Institute (REDI), the NC Rural Center’s flagship leadership development program. The three-month intensive training program equips existing and emerging leaders with the tools they need to tackle economic and community development issues facing rural North Carolina. Powell, RCCHC’s Practice Administrator, said: "Empowered by knowledge, I've graduated from the REDI class, ready to sow the seeds of positive change in rural communities. Here's to the next chapter of growth and impact!”
Homegrown Leaders alumni Dawn Daly-Mack, a nurse and a minister from Gaston, served as the graduation speaker for the program’s 26 graduates.
“As graduates of REDI, you now possess a unique set of skills and experiences that will undoubtedly shape the future of your communities,” Daly-Mack said. “Amid vast landscapes and tight-knit communities, you have come together to cultivate your leadership abilities, demonstrating a commitment to making a difference in the rural areas we all call home.
“Rural leadership is not about holding a title or position of authority—it is about understanding the needs of your community, embracing the diversity therein, and empowering those around you.”
Now in its 32nd year, REDI has trained more than 1,100 leaders across the state. As a graduate of REDI, Powell now joins an extensive alumni network that spans all of North Carolina’s 100 counties and includes graduates from the Rural Center’s other leadership training program, Homegrown Leaders. Many of the Center’s leadership alumni are active in state and local government and in philanthropic, nonprofit, and small-business sectors, as well as in faith and community-based organizations.
“We had an amazing REDI class this year made up of a diverse group of participants from various sectors representing 18 different North Carolina counties,” said Olaunda Green, director of leadership training for the NC Rural Center. “Something magical happens when you put individuals into a room, who seemingly have nothing in common, but after going through this program, relationships form, connections are made, and lifelong partnerships are created.”
Rural Center President and CEO Patrick Woodie delivered the final remarks of the ceremony and encouraged the new graduates to return home to build bridges.
"Congratulations to this year's class of REDI graduates for investing in yourselves and your communities through this valuable training," Woodie said. "Rural North Carolina needs leaders like you willing to look at challenges in a new way, and we know you have many successes ahead of you."
To learn more about how the NC Rural Center is developing and supporting rural leaders across the state, visit ncruralcenter.org.
About the NC Rural Center Since 1987, the NC Rural Center has worked to develop, promote, and implement sound economic strategies to improve the quality of life of rural North Carolinians. The Rural Center serves the state's 78 rural counties, with a special focus on people with low-to-moderate incomes and communities with limited resources.
Senior Director of Communications
NC Rural Center