The Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force

About Andrea Harris

A native North Carolinian, the late Andrea Harris was a trailblazer for minority businesses and communities. A graduate of Bennett College, Harris became one of the youngest community agency directors in the nation, helping fight poverty across three rural North Carolina communities. An unwavering passion to help others in need, she co-founded the NC Institute of Minority Economic Development in 1986, where she served as president in 1990. Located in the heart of Durham, the Institute supports minority and women-owned businesses. After retiring from the Institute, Harris continued to serve on several boards including the state's Advisory Council for Historically Underutilized Businesses, where she was appointed in 2017. She is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest award for state service granted by the Office of the Governor as well as an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Bennett College.

Listening Sessions

Members of the Task Force Subcommittees announced initial proposals to improve disparities in communities of color disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. View proposed recommendations here.

How You Can Comment On Proposed Subcommittee Recommendations

Additional public comment sessions will be announced in the future and North Carolinians can also make their voices heard by submitting written comments via the form below.

Task Force Public Feedback Form

Listening sessions were held September 22 and 29, 2020 on the Task Force's five core areas. Missed a session? View recorded listening sessions below.

Listening Sessions
Date  September 22, 2020      September 29, 2020   
Agenda Meeting Agenda Meeting Agenda
Topic(s)

Access to Healthcare*

Economic Opportunity and Business Development

Educational Opportunity 

Patient Engagement*

Environmental Justice and Inclusion
Missed the session?  Watch the September 22, 2020 listening session here. Watch the September 29, 2020 listening session here.
 * - This topic was originally scheduled for the September 15 listening session, which was cancelled. The listening session schedule was modified to include two dates, September 22 and 29. Topics originally scheduled for September 15 were featured during the September 22 listening session. Thank you!

 

About the Task Force

Purpose

Purpose

Established under Executive Order No. 143, the Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force addresses the social, environmental, economic, and health disparities in communities of color disproportionally impacted by COVID-19. The Task Force is named in honor of the late civil rights activist, Andrea Harris, who dedicated her life to eliminating disparities in North Carolina, co-founding the non-profit Institute of Minority Economic Development in Durham and serving on the state’s Advisory Council for Historically Underutilized Businesses. The five focus areas of the Task Force are:

  • Access to Healthcare
  • Economic Opportunity and Business Development
  • Educational Opportunity
  • Environmental Justice and Inclusion
  • Patient Engagement

Read the full press release announcing the Task Force here.

 

Goal

Goal

To create economic stability, eliminate health disparities, and achieve environmental justice in North Carolina.

Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles

Put People First

North Carolina’s citizens are our greatest asset.  As a subset of our communities remain underserved and with less access to resources and opportunity, it inhibits our ability to ensure that our citizens, and our State, reach their full potential. 

Ensure Sustainability of Efforts

COVID-19 has shed light on economic and health disparities in North Carolina. However, once we are past COVID-19, we must ensure that we continue to build towards, and maintain, a system that provides more equal and stable access to economic opportunities and healthcare. 

Make Efforts Adaptable to Change and Scalable to Needs

As we learn more about COVID-19, and any other challenges we may face, we must ensure that North Carolina’s policies are structured to adjust to new information and challenges. In addition, any efforts undertaken must be scalable to manage increased needs over time. 

Ensure Transparency and Accountability

Providing full information regarding efforts and their effectiveness lends itself towards ensuring that human and economic capital are best utilized to achieve relevant goals.  

Objectives

Objectives

The Task Force will focus on the following areas:

1. Access to healthcare for underserved communities.

  • Monitor and report best practices to increase access to telehealth and broadband internet-based medical treatment;
  • Monitor and report whether North Carolinians have adequate insurance coverage in responding to COVID-19 and managing underlying health conditions; and
  • Assess application of the "Medical Home" approach to providing comprehensive, family-centered, and culturally competent care that meets the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of all North Carolinians.

2. Enhanced patient engagement in healthcare settings.

  • Encourage medical professionals to engage communities of color to gather information and provide a platform for transparency and inclusion;
  • Support and identify opportunities to increase the number of minority health professionals servicing communities of color; and
  • Encourage increased cultural competence in the provision of care for communities of color.

3. Economic opportunities in business development and employment.

  • Assess and report ways the state may further support historically underutilized businesses;
  • Advance economic recovery by prioritizing actions that create quality employment opportunities for the North Carolina workforce;
  • Assess and report opportunities for organizational capability and capacity building; and
  • Prioritize workforce development across all sectors (including healthcare workforce development).

4. Environmental Justice and Inclusion.

  • Enhance public engagement and increase public participation by low income, minority communities in Department decisions and actions;
  • Quantify health and welfare benefits of pollution reduction and identify opportunities to increase the deployment of clean energy resources;
  • Advance climate justice by prioritizing actions that equitably reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase community resilience to the impacts of climate change, and advance sustainable economic and infrastructure recovery efforts for low-income, minority and vulnerable communities; and
  • Encourage and enhance environmental justice, inclusion and equity education.

5. Create educational opportunities for communities of color in the following areas:

  • Health literacy;
  • Financial literacy; and
  • General academia.
  • In addition, the Task Force shall make recommendations on strategies to increase funding for health education in community centers servicing vulnerable communities.
Learn More About Executive Order 143

Learn More About Executive Order 143

Executive Order 143 addresses the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. View and download the executive order here.

Meet the Members of the Task Force

Meet the Members of the Task Force

Member Name Professional Affiliations County
Secretary Machelle Sanders

Secretary, NC Department of Administration

Task Force Chair

Wake
Access to Healthcare Subcommittee | Subcommittee Chair: Dr. Giselle Corbie-Smith
Dr. Giselle Corbie-Smith

Kenan Distinguished Professor of Social Medicine, UNC-Chapel Hill

Director, UNC Center for Health Equity Research

Professor of Internal Medicine, UNC-Chapel Hill

Orange
Dr. Catherine Harvey Sevier 

Managing Director, The Generations Study Group, LLC

Adjunct Professor of Public Health, UNC-Greensboro

Guilford
Andres Henao

Member, Governor's Advisory Council on Hispanic/Latino Affairs

Manager, Triangle Implant Center

Orange
Rep. Donny Lambeth Representative, North Carolina 75th District  Forsyth
Dr. Viviana Martinez-Bianchi  Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, Duke University Durham
Benjamin Money Deputy Secretary for Health Services, NC Department of Health and Human Services Wake
Dr. Carlos Rish Owner and Medical Director, Centro Médico Latino Mecklenburg
Annette Taylor

Member, NC Council for Women Advisory Board 

Minority Business & Community Affairs Manager, NC Education Lottery

Adjunct Professor, NC Central University

Wake
Economic Opportunity & Business Development | Subcommittee Chair: Rep. Yvonne Holley 
Walter David Baucom

Senior VP, MAL Entertainment

President and CEO of Baucom Group & Associates

Mecklenburg
Lynn Bottone Vice President of Biotech Operations, Pfizer Wake
Adriana Chavela

Member, Governor's Advisory Council on Hispanic/Latino Affairs

Founder/Executive Director, Hola Community Arts

Buncombe
Rep. Yvonne Holley Representative, North Carolina 38th District Wake
Dale Jenkins CEO, Curi Holdings, Inc. Wake
C.C. Lambeth

Chair,  Governor's Advisory Council for Historically Underutilized Businesses

Owner and CEO, C2 Contractors, LLC

Guilford
Stephanie McGarrah Executive Director, NC Pandemic Recovery Office Durham
Kevin J. Price President and CEO, The NC Institute of Minority Economic Development Durham
Trey Rabon President, AT&T North Carolina Wake
Educational Opportunities | Subcommittee Chair: Pat Martinez
Dr. Lenora Campbell Dean, College of Health and Human Sciences, NC A&T State University  Guilford
Pat Martinez

Member, Governor's Commission on Inclusion 

President and CEO, Leadership in the Clouds

Mecklenburg
Quinny Sanchez  MSW | Health Care Access, Stakeholder Engagement, Community Outreach Union
Margaret Weller-Stargell

Chair, NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services Waiver Advisory Committee

President and CEO, Coastal Horizons Center

New Hanover
Environmental Justice and Inclusion | Subcommittee Chair: Secretary Michael Regan
Rev. Dr. Jonathan Augustine

Senior Pastor, St. Joseph African Methodist Episcopal Church

Author, "Environmental Justice in the Deep South," University of San Francisco Law Review 2013

Durham
Dr. James H. Johnson Jr.  

Chair, NC Department of Environmental Quality's Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board

William R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center, UNC Kenan-Flager Business School

Orange
Secretary Michael S. Regan Secretary, NC Department of Environmental Quality Wake
Greg Richardson Executive Director, NC Commission of Indian Affairs  Wake 
Rev. Dr. Anthony Spearman President, NC NAACP  Guilford
Patient Engagement | Subcommittee Chair: Cornell Wright
Dr. Cedric Bright Associate Dean of Admissions, East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine Pitt
Dr. Rhett Brown Medical Director for LGBTQ+ Health Services and Family Physician, Novant Health Mecklenburg
Yazmin Garcia Rico

Healthy Communities Program Manager, Alamance Regional Medical Center

Instructor, Alamance Community College

Alamance
Dr. Charlene Green Anesthesiology, Cone Health  Guilford
Dr. Sonyia Richardson  Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work and BSW Program Director, UNC-Charlotte Cabarrus
Juvencio Rocha Peralta Executive Director and Founder, Association of Mexicans in NC (AMEXCAN) Pitt
Gene Woods President and CEO, Atrium Health Mecklenburg
Cornell Wright Director, NC Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Wake

 

Support the Work of the Task Force

Support the Work of the Task Force

Members of the public who are interested in supporting the work of one of the Task Force subcommittees can fill out a survey to indicate interest here.

Proposed Recommendations by the Task Force Subcommittees

Proposed Recommendations by the Task Force Subcommittees

Recommendations:

Executive Order No. 143 states that, “By December 1, 2020, and every six (6) months thereafter, the Task Force shall provide to the Office of the Governor a status report on the progress and recommendations made in the focus areas determined by Section 1 of this Executive Order.”

The initiatives highlighted below are not official recommendations made by the Task Force.  In an attempt to remain transparent in its scope of work, the Task Force invites members of the public to comment on the potential areas for action highlighted below:

Access to Healthcare:

  • Increase access to broadband and telemedicine in North Carolina, particularly, in rural counties and communities of color.
  • Utilize the medical home approach in providing comprehensive family centered and culturally competent care that meets the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of all North Carolinians. 

Economic Opportunity and Business Development:

  • Increase utilization of Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs) for goods and services.
  • Support workforce development programs and initiatives in the public and private sector.

Educational Opportunity:

  • Host public virtual roundtables with physical medical professionals, mental health professionals, higher education leaders, and other relevant professionals.  

Environmental Justice and Inclusion:

  • Evaluate the feasibility and/or designate a permanent full-time position on Environmental Justice, Equity and Inclusion in the Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation, Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and at the Office of Emergency Management. 
  • Conduct an inventory on aging infrastructure and buildings (schools, senior centers, etc) that have exposure to radon, asbestos, mildew, mold, etc. and consider remediation projects of impacted facilities for job creation initiatives.
  • Develop a legislative strategy: Additions/changes to statutes and rules to incorporate environmental Justice criteria into regulatory actions.

Patient Engagement:

  • Identify the best cultural competency practices in health agencies across North Carolina via survey and implement a uniform training across the state.
  • Create or sponsor an initiative (or policies) that requires data collection to cover all demographics (race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc.).

Task Force & Subcommittee Meeting Dates

Task Force & Subcommittee Meeting Dates

The Andrea Harris Task Force, established by Executive Order 143 shall meet 
bi-monthly for the duration of the State of Emergency, and quarterly thereafter. 

Date Time Meeting
August 5, 2020 10 am - 12:30 pm Task Force Meeting
August 19, 2020 10 am - 11 am Subcommittee Meeting
September 2, 2020 10 am - 12:30 pm Task Force Meeting
September 16, 2020 10 am - 12 pm Subcommittee Meeting
October 7, 2020 10 am - 12:30 pm Task Force Meeting
October 21, 2020 10 am - 12 pm Subcommittee Meeting
November 4, 2020 10 am - 12 pm Subcommittee Meeting
November 18, 2020 10 am - 12:30 pm Task Force Meeting
December 2, 2020 10 am - 12:30 pm Task Force Meeting 
December 16, 2020 10 am - 12 pm  Subcommittee Meeting

 

Meeting Information: Agendas, Minutes and Presentations

Meeting Information: Agendas, Minutes and Presentations

Inaugural Task Force Meeting - August 5, 2020
  • Agenda
  • View a recording of the August 5 convening here.
Task Force Subcommittee Meetings - August 19, 2020
  • View a recording of the Access to Healthcare Subcommittee meeting here.
  • View a recording of the Educational Opportunities Subcommittee meeting here.
  • View a recording of the Environmental Justice and Inclusion Subcommittee meeting here.
  • View a recording of the Patient Engagement Subcommittee meeting here.
Task Force Subcommittee Meeting - August 27, 2020
  • View a recording of the Economic Opportunity and Business Development Subcommittee meeting here.
Task Force Meeting - September 2, 2020
  • Agenda
  • View a recording of the September 2 convening here.
Task Force Subcommittee Meetings - September 16, 2020
  • View a recording of the Environmental Justice and Inclusion Subcommittee meeting here.
Task Force Listening Session - September 22, 2020
  • View a recording of the listening session on topics concerning access to healthcare, economic opportunity and business development, educational opportunity and patient engagement here.
  • View a recording of the listening session on topic concerning environmental justice and inclusion here.
Task Force Meeting - October 7, 2020
  • Agenda
  • View a recording of the October 7 convening here.