By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
One Feather Staff
Juanita Wilson, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), is one of five people selected statewide this year who were elected to membership in the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits (NCCNP). The Center’s mission is “to educate, connect, and advocate for North Carolina nonprofits.
Wilson, who works in the training and development department of the Department of Human Resources for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, is also the co-chair of the Nikwasi Initiative Board of Directors.
“As kids, we are taught to ‘play fair’, and ‘be nice to each other’,” said Wilson. “That has always been an important personal value for me. However, ‘playing fair’ has become a much broader thing to me after experiencing the COVID pandemic. As I watched the protests against unfair and bias practices happening all across our nation, I realized that we have to think beyond our own backyard. What happens throughout our nation and the world can touch us here at home. We have to be vigilant to what is going on but sometimes we don’t even pay attention to our backyard.”
She added, “As I pondered over my own role as a citizen of the EBCI and the United States, I realized that I must do everything in my power to influence decisions, therefore, I have to look for opportunities to be at the decision-making table when I can.”
Wilson said she’s excited for the opportunity to serve with the NCCNP. “Being invited to join the N.C. Center for Nonprofits (NCCNP) is the latest in many incredible opportunities put before me to give a voice to my Tribe but also rural western North Carolina. It is also my hope that my participation with organizations like NCCNP will inspire my friends, colleagues and family members to look beyond what is familiar and comfortable. Our ancestors created delegations that traveled, “across the Pond” to create relationships important to growth, development and the well-being of their people and the lands they loved.”
Wilson is joined as a new inductee to the Center’s board by Jana Barrett, national director for Education Initiatives at Lincoln Financial Group in Greensboro; Doug Heron, associate vice president, Duke State Relations at Duke University Health Systems in Durham; Lenora Jarvis-Mackey, president and chief executive officer of River City Community Development Corporation in Elizabeth City; and Diego Ramon, vice president of North Carolina Regional Office of Mutual of America in Charlotte.
Devire’ Robinson, vice president of philanthropic advancement at Foundation For the Carolinas and Center board chair, said in a statement, “Our new board members bring extensive and diverse nonprofit leadership experience from every corner of the state to the Center. We are very excited about their energy and the possibilities the Center has to continue to help nonprofits strengthen their management capabilities.”
Wilson said she is excited to get to work with the Center and noted, “I want to share the ‘equity statement’ of the NCCNP: ‘The North Carolina Center for Nonprofits (the Center) places extraordinary value on seeing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) embedded within the structure of all organizations and communities across the state. We are committed to transforming North Carolina into a more equitable state and dismantling racism on the four levels on which it operates in society (Personal; Interpersonal; Institutional; Structural)’. As a new board member, I will be at the table to ensure these values are extended to my backyard…and beyond. Sgi!”
For more information on the N.C. Center for Nonprofits, visit www.ncnonprofits.org