April 1st marked the second annual Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service. Nationwide 1,760 mayors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico united in support of national service. Thirty North Carolina mayors participated, which is a large increase from last year. A full list can be found here. Together, these mayors represent more than 110 million Americans, or one-third of the U.S. population. These mayors carried a common message: National Service Works for America. We at North Carolina Campus Compact were honored to participate in several of these events alongside such a diverse and vibrant group of AmeriCorps programs.
Dr. Lisa Keyne, Executive Director of NC Campus Compact, joined the Honorable U.S. Congressman David Price, Burlington Mayor Ronnie Wall; Gibsonville Mayor Len Williams; and Mr. Frank DiSilvestro, State Program Specialist with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), to recognize the commitment to service of the Alamance County RSVP Volunteers and local AmeriCorps members. The celebration was held in conjunction with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the newly renovated Crump Village Education Resource Center, a community center that will provide educational space for residents of the Burlington Housing Authority as well as the broader community. BHA is also a key community partner of Elon University, and many Elon students support youth programming at Crump Village.
VISTA Jacob Lerner participated in an event in Chapel Hill with Mayor Mark Kleinshmidt and members of the NC Literacy Corps. VISTA Camille Smith participated in an event in Raleigh with Mayor Nancy MacFarlane. VISTA Anna Donze participated in an event in Winston-Salem with Mayor Allen Joines, and VISTAs Bevelyn Ukah, Devin Corrigan, and Carla Davis participated in an event in Greensboro with Mayor Nancy Vaughn. Each Mayor issued a proclamation of support to National Service and spoke of the importance of AmeriCorps initiatives happening throughout the city, and in many cases, throughout the State. VISTA Leader Carla Davis recounts her Greensboro event experience: “The feeling of community in the room was palpable as AmeriCorps members shared their service experiences and projects.”
North Carolina Campus Compact is dedicated to leveraging higher education resources to support community organizations, and to create well-rounded programs that address K-12 education, hunger and homelessness, and food security. And we, with other AmeriCorps organizations, are working toward a common goal for North Carolina: to enhance the quality of life for its citizens. Currently the Opportunity Index ranks North Carolina 37th in the nation, but when we can align with local government, the speed at which this this goal can become a reality increases.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which administers AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, leads the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. CNCS’ partners include, the National League of Cities, Cities of Service, and Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, Ariz., president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. CNCS annually engages more than five million people in service at more than 60,000 locations in 8,500 cities across the country through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other sponsored programs, and we are glad to be even a small part of those numbers.
“We are thrilled by the extraordinary turnout of mayors from across the country for this bipartisan nationwide recognition of the impact of national service,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “It is a testament to the dedication and effectiveness of all those who serve in AmeriCorps and Senior Corps that mayors representing more than one-third of Americans are joining in this effort. I commend Mayor Coleman, Mayor Smith, and other mayors across the country for participating in this recognition effort and for working with us to improve lives and strengthen communities through national service.”
Thanks to all of our North Carolina Mayors for recognizing the work that North Carolina Campus Compact and our national service members are doing to “fight poverty with the power of higher education.” Check out our Twitter feed for more Mayors Day pics and tweets @NCCampusCompact.