Leadership Triangle Forums


Above WUNC’s David Brower, Goodmon Fellow Atrayus Goode and Judge Elaine O’Neal chat before the Forum on Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Our Forums are panel discussions on important, high visibility topics that will impact the competitiveness of the Research Triangle Region. They have ranged from topics such as the The Economic Impact of Immigration Reform, with Dr. Jim Johnson from Kenan-Flagler School of Business as our moderator, The Future of Healthcare, which featured outstanding panelists representing various stakeholders and players in our current health care system, and Fracking in North Carolina-A Balanced View. We are pleased that we partner with WUNC.FM on these Forums.

On November 12th, WUNC’s The State of Things and Leadership Triangle joined forces to present an issues Forum on the Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline, one in a series of events organized to educate the public on important issues facing our region.

The School-to-Prison Pipeline (STPP) is a phenomenon resulting when student misbehavior is commonly dealt with by expedient removal from school, which has the unintended consequences of vastly increasing the likelihood that students will get suspended again, do poorly academically, or drop out and enter the criminal justice system.  The issue is known to disproportionately affect low-income students and students of color, and is believed to be a major factor in the overwhelming number of North Carolina students failing to progress to career or post-secondary education.

With the help of a panel and participation from a live audience, Frank Stasio explored the factors underlying this complex issue, the challenges faced by students, parents and teachers alike, and solutions that exist to break the pipeline, keep kids in school, and ensure safe learning environments for all.

Click here for the entire Forum



Feb. 18-This Forum took us to The Islamic Center of Raleigh

Their hospitality was so warm, and we learned so much-we are thankful we visited this vibrant Islamic Center.

Click here for the WRAL coverage:

Click here for the CBC Capcom Story

How do you view Muslims in our area?  Have you thought of your Muslim neighbors, your co-workers, the people you see in the mall – how are they different, how are they the same as every other American?  Thanks to the Leadership Triangle Alumni Network, on Thursday, 18 February 2016, approximately 50 members of the current Leadership Regional Class, their guests, Goodmon Fellows and LT staff members were treated to the gracious hospitality of the Islamic Association of Raleigh for an open conversation and tour of their facility.

One of our hosts, Fiaz Fareed shared that the meaning of Islam is to achieve peace and purity through submission to the one true God.  A Muslim is anyone who freely submits to God’s command. According to Pew Research statistics, in 2013 there were 1.6 billion Muslims.  By 2020, Pew estimates that 1/4 of the world’s population will be Muslim.

The Islamic Association of Raleigh includes a Mosque, a full-time school with pre-K through 8th grade and a community center with a gym.  The school was established in 1992 and currently enrolls approximately 300 students. The facility maintains hours of 5am – 10pm and is open and welcome to everyone in the community.

What was my takeaway on a personal level?  Truly, what many of us already knew – that Muslim Americans are the same as everyone else.  They love their families, are gracious hosts, make silly jokes, are humble, strong, are multi-cultural, are brown, black, white and yellow.  They are us, we are them and as we continue to build bridges of understanding and tolerance, it is of benefit to all. Peace, patience and love starts within each of us. Thank you for the grace, smiles and hospitality of the Islamic Association of Raleigh.  I think many of us will visit you again.

Lesa Melvin, Goodmon Fellow



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