Grassroots Leadership Conference 2022 in New Bern

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Community members invited to discuss resilience, empowerment at Grassroots Leadership Conference

NEW BERN, N.C. – The annual Grassroots Leadership Conference (GLC) comes to eastern North Carolina on Nov. 2 for an event where real people will discuss the issues they care about most and develop strategies for positive change.
The 2022 GLC takes place from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, 203 S. Front Street, with the theme Developing Community Resilience through Grassroots Empowerment. The program is offered by N.C. Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T State University and the Strategic Planning Council (state advisory volunteers).

The GLC is free and open to the public, however, event registration is required by Oct. 24.

Each year, the GLC brings together elected and civic leaders, volunteers, Extension professionals and audiences, farmers and business owners, families and youth to network, learn about community development initiatives, and identify strategies that support equitable decision-making and problem-solving in their communities.
“In an era defined by constant change and difficult challenges, the communities we serve through Cooperative Extension at North Carolina A&T must be responsive and innovative to create new opportunities and meet new challenges head-on,” said Michelle Eley, Ph.D., community and rural development specialist with Cooperative Extension at A&T. “Every community takes a slightly different approach, and many groups and communities are looking at their strengths and resources to move forward in a sustainable way. Our job is to bring these groups together to share knowledge and ideas, learn from others, and come away inspired.”
Martha Walker, Ph.D., retired community viability specialist at Virginia Tech University and Virginia Cooperative Extension, will kick off the conference with a keynote address. Walker worked with counties, cities, and state agencies in Virginia to assess community needs, facilitate community-based action plans, and identify university, state, and federal resources to assist community development efforts.
In addition to the keynote, experts will present workshops on a variety of topics and successful community development efforts, including:

• Using teens to build capacity and increase adult tech skills.
• Supporting the resiliency of small farms through outreach and programming.
• Building from the ground up: Creating pathways and connections for community change.
• Seeing deep culture: Entering communities respectfully.
• Generating revenue for programming.

“The goal of the conference is to inspire and influence people across North Carolina and to engage community leaders who have the authority to execute change,” said Eley. “We truly believe that effective change comes from people working together.”
For more information, please contact Eley ( or Karen Bustoz ( at 336-334-7956.

Developing Community Resilience through Grassroots Empowerment Register online by Oct. 24 NCA&T State University, Sponsored by Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in partnership with the Strategic Planning Council. For more information, call Karen Bustoz at (336) 285-4693. Accommodation requests related to a disability or limited English proficiencv should be made by October 24 to Karen Bustoz, (336) 285-4693, North Carolina A&T State University does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, sex, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, National Guard or any other basis protected by law.Sponsored by Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in partnership with the Strategic Planning Council. Wednesday, Nov. 2, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. REAL PEOPLE - REAL ISSUES - REAL STRATEGIES, FREE, PUBLIC, WORKSHOP NEW BERN RIVERFRONT CONVENTION CENTER 203 S. FRONT STREET, NEW BERN, NC 28560