Friday, Jan. 24, 2020

9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Friday Center for Continuing Education
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Keynote speaker: Dr. Dorian Burton, assistant executive director for the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

Register Now!

The Carolina Center for Public Service and the Provost Initiative on Rural Engagement and Partnerships are hosting the Connect, Engage, Transform: Rural Community Partnerships conference to bring together stakeholders from North Carolina’s rural communities and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to highlight and encourage authentic, effective and sustainable collaborations for the public good.

North Carolina is a predominantly rural state; 80 of 100 counties have low enough population density to be considered rural. The state’s many rural communities offer tremendous strengths and assets that benefit North Carolina, while frequently facing challenges around key drivers of well-being such as education, food securityemployment opportunities, environmental resilience, housing and transportationThe people who live and work in rural communities understand these challenges and are the best-suited leaders to drive the development of solutions. As the nation’s first public university, UNC-Chapel Hill has a long history of partnering with rural community stakeholders through the teaching, research and public service that define Carolina’s mission. At the Connect, Engage, Transform: Rural Community Partnerships conference, rural community representatives and UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, staff and students will come together to listen, learn and think creatively, informed by the past and focused on the future.  

At this conference we aim to: 

  • Connect: highlight collaborative partnerships between UNC-Chapel Hill and rural communities in North Carolina by bringing together participants and presenters   
  • Engage: provide compelling and dynamic opportunities for interaction to support sustained and effective development of rural community partnerships   
  • Transform: encourage learning from each other to inform and strengthen ongoing and future initiatives between rural communities and UNC-Chapel Hill to promote the well-being of all 

We are currently evaluating presentation proposals from teams of active and innovative academic and community partners who are working for the advancement of North Carolina’s rural communities. 


Conference Registration 

Conference registration is now open! Register by Jan. 10.

The conference fees are: 

  • Faculty & Staff – $60 
  • Community Partners – $30. As part of the registration process, community partners will have the opportunity to request funding for overnight lodging. Participants will need to cover their own travel/mileage costs.
  • Students – $20. Student registrants will be required to show a valid student ID at the time of check-in. 

Proposal Submission Timeline 

  • The proposal submission deadline was Monday, Nov. 18. 
  • Proposals will be reviewed by a committee comprised of faculty, staff and community partners. All presenters will receive notification regarding the outcome of their proposal on Thursday, Dec. 5. 
  • We will ask all presenters of accepted proposals to confirm participation in the conference by 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 9. 


Peruse the menu on the left or email CETconference@unc.edu. 

Thanks for your interest in participation!