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Kenan Institute 2022 Annual Theme: Stakeholder Capitalism
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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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Yimfor, a Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow, will discuss his recent work on how access to venture capital varies by the founder’s race and alma mater and explore mechanisms driving the variation.

With the school year winding down, we invited Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute Fellow and UNC-Chapel Hill Public Policy Research Professor Iheoma Iruka to join us for a discussion on the business of childcare and early education – as well as the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted families’ expectations and workers’ needs

Mark Little, executive director of the Kenan Institute-affiliated center CREATE, provided expert testimony in a process that resulted in a May 11 settlement agreement regarding contracting and hiring practices for Dominion Energy’s $9.8 billion Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind renewable energy project.

Kenan Scholars Director Kim Allen is among the winners of UNC’s annual Diversity Awards, presented to individuals and groups who have given their time and effort to further diversity, equity and inclusion at the university and in its surrounding community.

CREATE, an economic development center at the institute, worked with civic and business leaders in Rocky Mount last summer to plan a Black Business Matters District downtown in an effort to address the racial wealth gap in the area. Executive Director Mark Little will join CREATE’s Rocky Mount partners on a panel at 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 24 to share their work as part of Carolina’s Engagement Week.

The U.S. spends significantly less on child care than other developed nations, and the consequences of that spending became evident during the pandemic – particularly within underserved communities. In this week’s insight, our experts discuss why the U.S. should prioritize and fund early childhood education and care.

Stakeholder Capitalism

Greater focus on social justice has brought systemic inequities in the corporate sector to light, leading companies to step up their efforts in attracting and retaining a diverse workforce – but many challenges remain in implementing those goals. Following a joint report between the Kenan Institute and EY, this week’s Kenan Insight breaks down some challenges companies may face while trying to reach their diversity, equity and inclusion goals.

On Jan. 7, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced a sweeping new executive order that aims to achieve net-zero emissions within 30 years while protecting and empowering North Carolina’s underserved communities. Urban Investment Strategies Center Director Jim Johnson, who serves as chairman of the N.C. Department of Environmental Justice and Equity Board and as a member of the task force on social, economic and environmental equity, accompanied Cooper at a press conference in support of the order at N.C. A&T State University. Read Johnson's statements here.

The Institute for Private Capital’s newly-released interactive model that aims to help private equity leaders assess diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) goals was featured in a report by Ernst & Young.

While the COVID-19 pandemic was devastating for many, research shows its impact was not felt equally. Black Americans experienced disproportionate health and economic ramifications, which compounded the financial, social and psychological strain many felt pre-pandemic, and have contributed to growing inter-generational wealth disparities. In today’s Kenan Insight, our experts explore whether the multi-trillion dollar “Build Back Better” plan proposed by the Biden administration holds the potential to begin closing pervasive gaps in American society.

Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellision shared the company's approach to diversity, equity and inclusion following this past summer’s social unrest. In this conversation-style format, Mr. Ellison gave a brief overview of Lowe’s anti-racism statement and reviewed specific actions the company has taken to combat racism and inequality. He shared insights on his hands-on leadership approach and how it impacts his relationships with employees and his success at Lowe’s.

CREATE Executive Director Mark Little and Institute of African American Research Director Karla Slocum have been honored with a UNC Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for their partnership as co-chairs of Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration.