The second Cultivating Community Conversations, held by the Salisbury Police Department and open to all members of the community, was slightly less well attended than the first, but those who came were not silent.
The second meeting was held Thursday night at 5:30 at the Park Avenue Community Center, and approximately 30 people attended, including Mayor Karen Alexander, city council members Anthony Smith and Harry McLaughlin, and city manager Jim Greene.
Rev. Dr. Roy Dennis, Police Chief’s Advisory Board chair and pastor at Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church, opened the meeting with a definitive statement that captured the heart of the entire series of meetings.
“If you don’t communicate, you fail,” he said. “So we are here to communicate.” He then introduced city officials.
“Thank you for being here, for telling us what we are doing right, but more importantly what we need to do better,” Alexander said.
“Some problems we face require a deep synergy,” Smith said. “When people from all different backgrounds, with all different experiences, come together and pool their wisdom to find answers, that’s what we need.”
Greene, who has been in his position just eight weeks, said he is aware that the city exudes “a passion and a sense of community,” and he is “ready to hear your needs and your concerns.”
“The city is working with the police department, the fire department, and the community to address crime,” McLaughlin said. “It takes a bit of time, but communication opportunities like this are incredibly helpful in finding solutions together.”
Chief Jerry Stokes took a moment to introduce the officers in the meeting, including patrol officers, detectives, sergeants, lieutenants and a captain, along with two new officers who are heading to their Basic Law Enforcement Training soon.
“These are the people I hope you get to know,” he said.
Anne Little, director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the city, welcomed community members as well.
“My job is to ensure all voices are heard, all voices matter,” she said. “A lot of times, we have more in common than we think, we just don’t know it because we don’t talk. This is a time to talk. And I live here, too, so what affects you also affects me.” She pointed out that there were note cards and pens on each table, and if anyone did not feel at east speaking in front of a group, they could write their questions and contact information on the card and they would get an answer.
The first community conversation event was held June 9 at Kelsey Scott Park. There, more than 50 residents joined in discussions about patrols, street lighting and youth activities. This second meeting focused a recent increase in violent crimes, and on building relationships between officers and residents. It also involved a bit of praise for the police department.
Asked what steps the police are taking to keep residents safe, Stokes said part of the effort is targeting where police need to be.
“We are trying to use technology and data to be in the right place,” he said. “Crime isn’t everywhere all at once. It is in particular locations, so we try to have a higher presence in those places.” He said that is both to help residents feel more secure, and to send a message to the criminals that “this is not the place for them to be.” He said the department is also working behind the scenes with Project Safe Neighborhoods to pinpoint people who are consistently coming up in investigations. The department has even reached out to help from federal authorities to strengthen their ability to get those repeatedly involved in crime off the street.
“On the flip side of that, we are also working to divert people away from crime,” he said. “We are trying to identify what is driving them to criminal activity, and then help resolve those underlying issues.”
“Job No. 1 is to enforce the laws and hold people accountable,” he added. “But we can’t arrest our way out of the problem.” Prior to the COVID outbreak, he said the city was at a 20-year low in violent crimes, and that was only as far back as he could find records. During COVID, the numbers rose nationwide, but right now, the city’s violent crime numbers are lower than they were a year ago, and there is a downward trend, “in spite of a few bumps right now, which is typical of summer.”
Virginia Brown, president of the Park Avenue Redevelopment Corporation and an involved neighborhood resident, said when the corporation was started in 1998, they formed a neighborhood watch, and people were strongly encouraged to share information with police, and for 10 years, it worked.
Stokes said neighborhood watch programs have dwindled in recent years and he would like nothing better than to see them come back, “because we can’t be on every street corner, so to have extra eyes and ears is a tremendous help.”
Brown said the crime in the Park neighborhood is far better than it was in 1998, but pointed out that people are still afraid to use the actual park.
“There are often groups of people there that don’t live in this neighborhood,” she said. “And parents don’t feel safe taking their children there. A lot of us don’t feel safe there.”
She had high praise for officers in a separate situation, though. Her nephew, she said, was in a car accident about three months ago, and “he was at fault. With all the things you read and hear today about how officers treat Black men, he was nervous and so was I. But when the officer got there, and I am sorry I cannot remember his name because I’d like to thank him, he treated my nephew with such compassion and respect. It put my nephew at ease, and he treated me with that same respect, so I wasn’t worried about my nephew getting dragged out of the car and shackled. And that is the kind of behavior we need to encourage among officers, because it makes them far more approachable, and we are going to be more willing to come forward.”
Moving the conversation along, Little asked William Wilson Jr., 16, what his favorite thing about Salisbury is.
“The community,” he said. “Everybody I know and love is here. And the people around me will give me the best advice on how to be my best self.” He said some kids get steered off the best path and end up doing things that “are clearly unnecessary,” but he said having a solid family background, or a strong, reliable role model, can change things.
Rev. Dennis reminded those in attendance that there are two more community conversation meetings, and that next Tuesday is National Night Out, another opportunity to talk with officers in an upbeat, positive situation.
SPD is one of 40 organizations across North Carolina selected as a recipient of the $25,000 Duke Energy Foundation grant as part of the energy company’s $1 million pledge to social justice, racial equity in North Carolina. The department has used the grant to sponsor these gatherings between residents and officers in order to begin to develop trusting relationships in both directions.
Duke Energy awards $96K to Joules Accelerator for cleantech projects in communities across Carolinas
The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded the Joules Accelerator $96,000 to establish a program allowing college students to help energy startups and work with neighborhoods in the Carolinas to bring pilot decarbonization projects to underserved communities.
The money will support a new program called Joules Camp. The accelerator is a Charlotte nonprofit established to foster development of early-stage cleantech startups.
“Duke Energy has been a longtime supporter of Joules Accelerator,” says Brian Savoy, Duke Energy Corp.'s (NYSE: DUK) chief strategy and commercial officer. “This grant will bring students into the program to help energy startups integrate cleantech programs in our local areas.”
Startups to pair with local communities for carbon-cutting pilots
Joules Executive Director Bob Irvin says the plan is to connect a few local communities to some of 80 cleantech companies that have participated in the accelerator since it started in 2013. Joules will attempt to pair community needs with pilot projects that startups can offer to cut carbon emissions or use in communities to help demonstrate the effectiveness of their programs and products.
The goal is to identify up to six startups to establish pilots in as many as six communities. Joules has budgeted about $60,000 to run the pilots. It has budgeted the remaining $36,000 to hire six interns from state universities and area colleges to work with the startups in setting up and administering the projects. The interns will also be required to prepare reports on the projects to detail successes and promote similar efforts elsewhere.
“We hope to start July 15,” Irvin says. “We expect there will be about two months of research to choose the communities and the pilots.”
The pilots would then run for three to six months, acquiring data and establishing the usefulness of the projects, he says. Irvin says Joules is using this initial grant as “seed money” to attract other potential sponsors for additional Joules Camp programs.
Fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in cleantech
In this early round, Irvin says, the accelerator hopes to identify 10 to 20 North Carolina communities that could benefit from cleantech pilots and work with them to determine their local needs and preferences. That would provide targets for the first pilots and additional community candidates for future projects.
Joules will focus on underserved communities, according to its funding application from Duke, in order to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in decarbonization efforts. Irvin notes one likely startup candidate from Joules’ latest cohort is ChargerHelp Inc., which looks to design local projects to operate and maintain public charging stations, training people in the community to do the work. The aim is to develop local workforces and promote equitable green-economy development.
The projects, interns and startups have not been chosen yet, Irvin says. But the plan calls for at least half of the student interns to come from minority groups underrepresented in the cleantech field. At least half of the projects will be in underserved communities.
Duke Energy is a founding sponsor of the Joules Accelerator. Ernst & Young is also a current sponsor. The program was founded with private contributions and a $750,000, three-year matching grant from the U.S. Economic Development Association.
The organization that cleans up Masonboro Island after the Fourth of July holiday received a large donation on Tuesday evening.
The Duke Energy Foundation presented Masonboro.org with a $30,000 check at Bradley Creek Marina on Tuesday.
The money will support the Island Explorers program that takes fifth graders in New Hanover County Schools to Masonboro Island to learn about the oceanfront, the marsh, wildlife, and more.
Masonboro.org President Tom Hackler says it’s all about creating the next generation of coastal stewards.
“Kids now that were in our first program are seniors in high school and now they’re starting to be volunteers for our program,” Hackler said. “It’s just kind of wonderful to see the coastal stewardship, the understanding of the coast, and the fact that the kids kinda owned Masonboro Island. It’s part of the public trust and we’re just happy to have them over there.”
Hackler says they encourage anyone who visits Masonboro Island to leave it in even better condition than they found it.
Our Daily Bread Food Ministry is one of 30 crisis assistance agencies in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida that are successfully participating in a Duke Energy philanthropy program aimed at supporting agency operations by reducing costs and offering supporting services.
To implement the program, Duke Energy collaborated with Restore Global, a worldwide organization that helps nonprofits maximize their impact.
Duke Energy’s $82,000 investment allowed Restore Global to provide direct benefits to help these organizations better serve customers.
Agencies can take advantage of their Access to Excess program, which sources equipment at free or reduced prices. Our Daily Bread and other participating organizations also received one-on-one management consulting and operational performance review to promote efficiency and effectiveness.
“We are grateful to Duke Energy for including Our Daily Bread in this program. Contributions from churches and individuals have declined during the pandemic and the assistance from Restore Global will enable us to continue our mission of providing food and other needed products to families in these difficult times” said Gene McLaurin, chair of the board of Our Daily Bread Food Ministry.
The ongoing financial hardship many are facing has increased the number of families many crisis agencies serve each month. An important program goal was to make it easier for the agencies to focus on their clients by reducing the stress of limited resources.
“As Duke Energy looks for ways to assist our customers, we recognize that providing back-office assistance for crisis agencies or nonprofits like Our Daily Bread can make a big difference for not only the agency but the clients they serve,” said David McNeill, Duke Energy district manager.
Duke Energy announces grant opportunities for nonprofits dedicated to social justice, racial equity in North Carolina
40 nonprofits serving communities of color will receive $25,000 grants for general operating funds.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy today announced the third year of its $1 million grant opportunity through the Duke Energy Foundation for North Carolina nonprofit organizations working for social justice and racial equity.
Applications will be reviewed through a competitive grant cycle, and $25,000 grants will be awarded for general operating funds at eligible nonprofits.
“For many years, we have supported and partnered with nonprofits across the state working to eliminate systemic barriers,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “As we recognize there is more work to do, these grants will support organizations on the front lines advocating for racial equity.”
The North Carolina Social Justice and Racial Equity grant cycle will operate with the following strategic principles:
- Nonprofits with a history of championing social justice and racial equity work on behalf of people of color, as represented in their mission statements and previous bodies of work, are the priority for this program.
- Nonprofits led by people of color, a historically underfunded group across philanthropy, will be given additional consideration in the grant review process.
- Organizations awarded a Social Justice and Racial Equity grant in 2020 and 2021 are eligible to apply again in 2022.
- The nonprofit applicant may be a governmental entity if the organization meets the strategic principles listed above.
- All regions of North Carolina served by Duke Energy Progress or Duke Energy Carolinas are eligible.
"It is time for low-wage earners of color to be part of the technology explosion,” said Sharon C. Goodson, executive director, North Carolina Community Action Association, a 2021 grant recipient. “Technology moves at an incredible pace. Those not immersed in it get left behind – and fast. Our goal is to ensure that families in communities of color are equipped with the high-tech training required to compete in the digital workplace and ultimately be lifted out of poverty. Duke Energy’s support of these initiatives is significant in moving this work forward.”
Grant applications should come from organizations with primary missions of addressing social justice and racial equity. Initiatives of focus for interested organizations may include but are not limited to:
- Trainings and policy reform.
- Environmental justice.
- Civic engagement for communities of color.
- Reducing disparate outcomes for people of color through education and workforce development.
- Legal assistance, including pathways to citizenship.
- Criminal justice reform, including community policing.
The grant application is open now through Aug. 31, 2022. Eligible nonprofits should visit duke-energy.com/RacialEquity to access the application and materials. Nonprofits can also register and join us for a webinar to learn more about this grant opportunity. Applicants will be notified about the outcome of their applications before Oct. 31.
Duke Energy Foundation
The Duke Energy Foundation provides more than $30 million annually in philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation is funded by Duke Energy shareholders.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 28,000 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business and at least a 50% carbon reduction from electric generation by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The 2050 net-zero goals also include Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2022 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Charlotte companies have shown progress in opening their boards to women in the last 10 years. But, as is the case nationally, that progress has been steady — and slow.
Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK) is among the leaders among corporations here. It has gone from one woman director in 2012 to five now. No small part of that strong showing is due to very recent appointments. From March 2021 to March 2022, Duke added five new board members. Two were women, two were Black men and one was a white man.
Duke is a good example of both the progress being made and the challenges public companies face. There were several skeptical questions from Duke shareholders about the size and makeup of its board at the annual meeting in May.
“Please assure investors that directors are selected by best qualification, skills and experience,” an unnamed shareholder asked Chairman and CEO Lynn Good. “The directors should not be a social experiment. Investors invest because they are looking for return on their money.”
Good’s answer may help explain why the progress continues, despite resistance in some quarters.
“We do recruit for skills, whether financial or operational, regulatory, environmental, governance, a wide variety of skills, and you can actually find information around the skills of each of our directors,” she responded. “But I would also say we care deeply about diversity.
“We care deeply about diversity on our board. We care deeply about diversity within our workforce because we believe a diverse group of people — diverse in thought, diverse in background, diverse in gender and ethnicity — helps us solve the complex issues that we face,” she continued.
“And so, we will continue to place a priority on making sure we have the right skills, but we’re also keeping an eye on diversity,” she concluded. “And at this point Duke’s board is 50% diverse on gender and ethnicity, which I am also particularly proud of.”
Included in that diversity is 35.7% female representation among the directors. That is better than the average for the Charlotte region’s 32 public companies with revenue of $100 million or more, according to Charlotte Business Journal research. Those calculations show that, of the total directors on those boards, 28.7% are women.
That regional average appears to be better than the national score. Deloitte has tracked the number of women on boards for seven years. For 2021, Deloitte found 23.9% of all corporate directors in the U.S. are women.
It may be higher for 2022, but not by much, says Dan Konigsburg, Deloitte’s Global Corporate Governance Leader. He describes the annual growth of women on boards in the United States as “sclerotic.”
So, doing well against the national average may not mean much. The U.S. ranks 19th of the 72 countries Deloitte Global evaluated for its latest Women in the Boardroom report, published in January.
The top four countries ranked by percentage of women on corporate boards (France, 43.2%; Norway, 42.4%; Italy, 36.6%; and Belgium, 34.9%) have some form of national quota requirements for publicly listed companies.
Such quotas, Konigsburg says, are among the most effective steps countries can take to increase female representation on corporate boards, according to Deloitte’s analysis.
“Some countries are speeding ahead, but the U.S., which relies on voluntary approaches, is not a market that really wants or appreciates a ‘finger on the scale’ in the sense of a quota,” he says. “Progress has been glacial. It is slow, but it is progress.”
Which Charlotte companies have the most women on their boards?
The last three years have shown the greatest average annual growth. But during that period, the average increase was just above 2 percentage points a year, growing to that 23.9% in 2021 from 17.6% in 2018.
CBJ figures should be examined against that national backdrop. In our region, the top companies — at 44.4% women on their boards — are Brighthouse Financial Inc. (NASDAQ: BHF), a relative newcomer to the region, and SPX Corp. (NYSE: SPXC), based in Charlotte much longer but substantially remade in 2015 when it and SPX Flow Inc. (NYSE: FLOW) spun out of the legacy SPX Corp. Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) and Krispy Kreme Inc. (NASDAQ: DNUT), again recent additions to the region, hold the next two places at 40% and 38.55%, respectively.
Jeld-Wen Holding Inc. (NYSE: JELD), which moved to Charlotte in 2015, and Nucor Corp. (NYSE: NUE), headquartered here since 1966, are tied at fifth, with 37.5% women directors on their corporate boards.
Laurette Koellner is one of three women on Nucor’s eight-member board. There was already one woman director at Nucor when Koellner was recruited in 2015, and there were other companies recruiting her at the time.
She says Nucor was an easy choice, not because it had already showed it was open to recruiting women board members, but for its corporate culture and Nucor’s focus on maintaining and improving it.
She was also impressed with the prime place given workplace safety, which she says is the first topic at every meeting of the board. And she was attracted to Nucor’s emphasis on succession planning.
“Selecting the CEO is one of the main responsibilities of board members,” she says, adding Nucor has been determined to give its board strong candidates from inside the company.
The former Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) executive took her first board seat in 2001 at Sara Lee Corp. (NYSE: SLE) She serves now on four boards, so she has seen up close a lot of change in the corporate approach to women board members.
“It is very different. I know we don’t see the numbers that we love to see right now, but there are a lot more women in the boardrooms,” she says. “We should be at 50%. We should reflect the population. And we’re clearly not there yet. But I do see genuine efforts and successes taking place among the various boards.”
She sees several reasons for that. There is a move nationally in the environment, social and governance movement to promote greater diversity.
Women are making it into the nation’s C-suites in greater numbers at time when corporations started looking beyond the traditional current and former CEOs who had been the principal board candidates for years. Seeking financial, legal and operational expertise, they began looking at a broader array of top corporate officers.
Companies also are recognizing valuable talents that are not in the traditional corporate realm. She cites Nucor’s recent addition of its third woman board member.
Why is it important for a company to have women on the board of directors?
In 2019, Koellner and her fellow board members selected retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Nadja West, who had been the surgeon general for the Army, as a director. Koellner thinks it was a great decision, although it did not follow the standard playbook for finding new directors.
Koellner describes how the search often starts with the completion of a standard corporate “skills matrix” on which you “check all the boxes and determine what skills your board is missing.” Then you go out looking for someone who fills those boxes for you, she says. “It’s just a starting point, but it gives you perhaps a slate of ideal candidates for a job.”
Those skills tend to include things like executive experience, participation on other boards and demonstrations of corporate acumen and expertise.
“We were not searching for a retired surgeon general, right? And we weren’t searching for retired general at all,” Koellner says. “However, she exudes leadership. She certainly knows about managing complex organizations. She certainly knows about managing logistics. She knows about leading people. I think if you were on a board that was sticking to that matrix, you might not have been open enough to consider this candidate, and you would lose an excellent board member.”
She thinks corporations are opening up to more women and other underrepresented people on their boards now because it is good for business.
“What I do have a sense of is the more diversity you have on the board the better decisions are made,” she says. “And so, diversity, including gender and the other measures of diversity, just yields better results because you hear a different view, and you respect that view.”
What factors help drive progress in adding more women to boards?
To look at the kind of progress corporations here have made over 10 years adding women to boards, CBJ tracked the number of women at the four largest Charlotte-area companies that were here over that period.
Lowe’s Cos. Inc. (NYSE: LOW), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), Nucor and Duke have all made significant progress in those 10 years and are leaders in the region. Deloitte ranks consumer businesses, manufacturing and financial services among the top five public company categories for women on their boards in the United States, so the good marks for Lowe’s, Nucor and Bank of America are in line with national trends.
Duke has shown the most progress over that period — starting with one woman on the board and ending with five.
The 10 years tracked overlaps almost precisely with Good’s tenure as CEO and eventually chairman at Duke. Gwen Young, chief operating officer at the Women’s Business Collaborative, says her group’s research would indicate that is a key factor in Duke’s progress.
The collaborative is a leading advocate of a 50-50 gender balance on boards. And its most recent report “Women Leading Boards,” issued last month, shows companies with women CEOs consistently have more women on their boards than companies with men in the CEO position. Basing its data on the broad Russell 3000 index, the collaborative reports women make up 39% of directors for companies with female CEOs while the average is 26% women on boards at companies with male CEOs.
Deloitte finds the same clear trend, but Konigsburg says it goes both ways. Companies with women CEOs are more likely to have a higher percentage of women directors, and companies with high numbers of women directors are more likely to have a woman CEO. But he says Deloitte cannot determine which causes which.
Young says her group’s analysis sees clear causation. Using both statistical data and surveys, she says the collaborative sees the direction well-established.
And when there is a woman chair, the impact is even clearer that women in the top positions lead to more women on boards, not the other way around.
“The answer is in the research and … it’s not a chicken-and-egg issue,” she says. “It’s definitely the woman board chair. That makes a difference.”
In fact, she cites Duke as an example where that has made an important difference.
But she also notes women CEOs and board chairs are still relatively rare. And while the numbers are improving, the change is not coming as quickly as advocates such as Young would like to see.
Young does not think the current U.S. policy that involves board transparency and reports detailing diversity and progress toward it are sufficient to speed the transition to more equality.
Public pressure, she says, has proven insufficient to produce rapid change.
“It won’t work until you force a company to actually … have a consequence (for lacking female representation),” Young says. “If they don’t have one, they’re going to write off public opinion or they’re going shift focus to be worried about some other kind of public opinion.”
Duke Energy, along with the food bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, are working to fight hunger in our area.
On Wednesday, about 100 volunteers gathered for the Downtown Raleigh Yam Jam.
With purple mesh bags and a lot of helping hands, these volunteers are fighting hunger with 40,000 pounds sweet potatoes set to be delivered to the food bank’s partner agencies.
“Those 40,000 pounds are the equivalent of about 34,000 meals for families in need across North Carolina,” said Amy Strecker, Duke Energy’s Foundation Director
All the sweet potatoes packaged at the event are locally sourced from farmers across the region.
Jennifer Caslin with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina says nearly 600,000 people in our area go hungry every day.
With the cost of food and gas on the rise, the need is only growing.
“Anecdotally were hearing about 42% of people are coming probably because of the rise in costs, people are just not able to stretch those budgets as far as they were before,” said Caslin.
Volunteers told CBS 17 they came out Wednesday thinking of the families in need.
“I’ve got three kids and I can’t imagine them being hungry so anything that we can do to kind of help get back. I donate to food banks all the time for that very reason because I feel for those families,” said Joseph Orlando-Dobert.
Kim Crawford volunteered on behalf of Duke Energy.
“It’s a good way to give back to the community and it feels like an important thing to do especially in this time when things, prices are so expensive and people are struggling,” said Crawford.
The Food Banks of Central and Eastern NC says all the sweet potatoes packaged from Wednesday’s event will go on a truck to be delivered to their six branches and 800 partner agencies.
The Salisbury Police Department (SPD) will begin a series of in-person conversations with neighbors in various Salisbury communities thanks in part to a $25,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation as part of the energy company’s $1 million pledge to social justice, racial equity in North Carolina.
The first “Cultivating Community Conversations” will be held Thursday, June 9, 5:30 p.m. at Kelsey Scott Park, 1920 Old Wilkesboro Road. There, residents who serve on the Police Chief’s Advisory Board will lead engagement between officers and residents in an open discussion. Food will be served.
“We are excited about reinvigorating the community engagement initiatives that waned during the pandemic,” said Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes. “This will be an opportunity for the SPD to hear from residents about things that concern them in their neighborhoods, what we are doing well, and how we can better serve. The discussion, facilitated by the Police Chief’s Advisory Board members, will help our transparency and accessibility to those we serve and help us direct our efforts toward the community’s expectations. We are very fortunate to have the support of the Duke Energy Foundation who have funded the expenses for this event through a grant.”
“Strong relationships of mutual trust between the community and police agencies are critical to maintaining public safety and a promising community environment,” added Rev. Dr. Roy Dennis, Police Chief’s Advisory Board chair and pastor at Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church. “The opportunities of interaction with community members in a non-enforcement context helps to reduce bias on the part of community members and police officers. “Cultivating Community Conversations” is a great conduit to help us break down personal barriers and overcome stereotypes. The event will display there is a commonality between the community and the police servicing the community.”
SPD is one of 40 organizations across North Carolina selected as a recipient of the Duke Energy Foundation grant.
Representatives from the Department of Justice Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program also will be present to gather resident feedback on the proposed use of the $800,000 grant for crime prevention, recreational and public space development, and youth programs for the West End.
Duke Energy recently presented a donation in the amount of $7,500 to the Tuscarora Council – BSA that is based in Goldsboro.
The check was presented to help support the Tuscarora Councils youth recruitment efforts. The money will be used to help increase our youth membership especially in our under-served areas and schools.
District Director Kirk Mayers said “This money will help us reach every student in our area and offer them the opportunity to join Scouting. Scouting strengthens families, provides adventure, a social outlet and compliments traditional educational learning.”
There are approximately 2000 current youth members and volunteers in the council and that serves Wayne, Duplin, Johnston and Sampson Counties.
The Duke Energy Foundation is accepting applications through May 31 for $500,000 in grants to help strengthen North Carolina small businesses through its Hometown Grant Revitalization Program.
The foundation will choose nonprofits in 20 communities to receive $25,000 each to distribute micro-grants of $500 to $2,500 to local small businesses. The nonprofits are allowed to use up to $2,500 of the initial grant to pay the cost of administering their programs.
The grants are meant to help small businesses recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This will be the second round of grant awards in North Carolina. In 2021, Duke made grants totaling $750,000 to 30 communities across the state.
“The pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to small businesses and reminded us all how important they are to creating and sustaining vibrant downtowns,” says Stephen De May, N.C. president for Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK). “We hope this new wave of funding will continue to help local businesses and storefronts recover from a difficult few years and position them for a more prosperous future.”
Groups interested in the program can find information and the application form at duke-energy.com/2022. Grant decisions will be announced in August.
The program ultimately gave money to more than 380 small businesses in 2021. The grants enabled businesses to create outdoor dining options, improve online sales opportunities, upgrade health and safety elements, and refresh their storefront appearance.
“Receiving a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation through the Uptown Roxboro Group gave us an opportunity to make much-needed improvements to our store during the pandemic,” said Megan Gilbert, owner of The Exchange Consignment. “We were able to purchase a display case and two outdoor benches, all of which improved our overall customer shopping experience.”