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Surpassing Expectations: MEET Team Earns NACo Recognition for Equity Training

You could say they have met and exceeded expectations, as Buncombe County’s MEET Team is getting national recognition for its racial equity training series. Team member Richard Bell says the group is very excited and proud of its 2023 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award and the hard work they put into advancing equity for the County. “It also means other counties around the country could possibly mirror our program and achieve similar results in their respective counties,” exclaims Richard. “It is phenomenal to think that the impact of our little MEET Team now stretches far beyond Buncombe County and will impact communities positively advancing racial equity.”

The MEET Team offers a variety of courses from a series on LGBTQIA to a four-part class on creating an inclusive workspace and more; the group is always looking to be on the forefront on current issues and best practices. Regarding the racial equity training garnering national attention, Richard says, “The awareness and information we are able to impart in this training will impact our organization and our community in a positive way and advance racial equity in support of our strategic plan and core values.”

Assistant County Manager DK Wesley echoes the importance of intentionally advancing equity in meaningful ways. “When charged to consider what racial equity training could look like in our organization, this team took it very seriously. They spent many hours and lots of energy in developing a series that staff across the continuum of understanding and background could not only connect to but gain practical knowledge from,” she explains. “As the executive sponsor, I tried to give them space to be creative and it really showed through. I am so glad to see the team getting this national recognition. This will show other jurisdictions how and what can be done organizationally to advance equity.”

Ultimately, Richard says everyone in our organization is really what makes the trainings come alive. “Session attendees are the ones who make the program successful by supporting us, engaging us in meaningful conversations, and putting into practice things they learned in the training sessions,” he says.

If you would like to be part of the MEET Team’s award-winning trainings, there are plenty of opportunities on the horizon. The Racial Equity trainings are held once per quarter, click here for details. The LGBTQIA+ session is being held weekly during July and will be available monthly moving forward for the rest of 2023. Click here for more information.

Congratulations to the MEET Team on this outstanding accomplishment and for all the day-to-day work you do to advance equity in our organization and beyond. And thanks to everyone who participates and engages in the training sessions, your help spreading the word about what you’ve learned plays a huge role in our accomplishments.

The MEET Team is:

  • Richard Bell
  • Tiffany Iheanacho
  • Andy Zoller
  • Leonard Jones
  • Sarah Gransee
  • Joey Robison
  • Hector Salgado
  • Kasey Swing
  • Jennifer Aviles
  • Nika Briggs
  • Dr. Noreal Armstrong
  • Terry Bellamy

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Updated Aug 01, 2023 09:05 AM
Published Jul 20, 2023 07:00 AM

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