NC Counts Coalition is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization committed to building a healthy, just, and equitable North Carolina through cross-sector partnerships that advance systemic solutions for communities facing systemic barriers, including BIPOC communities, LGBTQ+, low wealth, immigrant, and other communities.
A North Carolina where everyone counts and has a fair opportunity to reach their full potential.
We champion inclusiveness and commit to representation, diversity and inclusivity in all of our work. We will foster a space at our table where everyone is seen, heard and valued.
We are people-centered. We look at communities holistically and support work that nurtures genuine and transformational relationships within communities. We commit to work that empowers communities by understanding and addressing different forms of oppression that impact people’s lives.
We will be open, honest and accountable in our relationships with everyone we work with and with each other. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of ethics, integrity, service, and fiduciary responsibility.
Things don’t always go as planned or hoped for. NC Counts Coalition strives to recover from setbacks, adapt to change and keep our work moving forward in the face of adversity.
With an innovative and empowering spirit, we aim to build a broad coalition that crosses issues and brings unlikely allies to the table, facilitating cross sector partnerships and collaborations that result in shared strategies to shape collective impact.
We will foster a learning community where NC Counts Coalition and partners can share knowledge and learn from each other. We commit to challenging ourselves and looking past short-term impact for long-term solutions that will advance equity.
We are better when we work together. We aim to strengthen our partners because that strengthens our collective impact. Our work will be driven by clear and focused tactics and strategies that are in alignment with our mission, vision and values, and relationships that result in impact.
Our organizing infrastructure is rooted in equity and with our partners we work collectively to reduce silos, maximize resources and incorporate diverse voices with the intention to shift power dynamics and create systemic change that achieves a healthy, just and equitable North Carolina.
NC Counts Coalition was established in 2017 to prepare North Carolina for Census 2020. The organization served as a hub to facilitate cross-sector partnerships and coordination among government, planning and community organizations, service providers, businesses and others to support a complete and accurate Census count for North Carolina. NC Counts strategically identified and addressed barriers to Census participation among traditionally undercounted communities (communities of color, foreign-born populations, young children and renters), and aligned stakeholders across the state to expand capacity for census mobilization, and to prevent duplicative efforts.
Brandy Bynum Dawson is the senior program director for Rural Prosperity and Investment. In this role Brandy leads MDC’s rural and capacity building work in NC and beyond, managing a state, regional and national portfolio of work. Prior to joining MDC, she most recently worked for over three years as senior director of policy, research and innovation at the NC Rural Center, where she provided oversight and management of the Center’s research and policy agendas, and innovative programs/initiatives, while cultivating partner relations and cross-programmatic, internal center-wide initiatives.
Having previously served for five years as co-founder, and associate director of Rural Forward NC formerly at the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation, she worked with the Director and program staff to manage, plan, organize, and direct daily capacity-building services of community initiatives in rural North Carolina. Gaining a strong footing in the policy-advocacy space, she worked at NC Child for over twelve years, where she conducted research and data analysis, led policy campaigns, engaged elected officials, and facilitated numerous community-based projects.
Bynum Dawson has been active in the nonprofit community for more than 20 years as a professional, volunteer, and board member. She has experience providing community development services to agencies, communities, and coalitions in the areas of civic engagement, action planning, results-based facilitation, program implementation, and organizational collaboration. She has facilitated several long-term initiatives across a wide array of subject areas such as education, health, access to mental health and substance abuse services, and delinquency prevention.
Throughout her career, Brandy has been the recipient of awards for her dedication, leadership and commitment to effecting change for North Carolinians in the areas of rural community development, juvenile justice reform and health access.
A native northeastern North Carolinian, she graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, receiving a bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in sociology. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from NC State University, with a concentration in mental health policy.
Demetrius Deloatch, a consultant based in APCO Worldwide’s Raleigh office, has more than 5 years of experience in local, state, and federal government.
Prior to joining APCO, Mr. Deloatch worked with the North Carolina League of Municipalities where he advocated on behalf of North Carolina’s 550 cities and towns at the state and congressional levels of government. He worked with state and local elected officials to maintain their authority and funding. He also advocated or defeated legislation based on the impact it would have on municipalities. Demetrius also played a key role in educating newly local elected officials on how government works and the key elements of being a successful council member. After working as a legislative intern/assistant for three years, he has a thorough understanding of the legislative process and a solid relationship with legislators, legislative assistants and research staff.
Mr. Deloatch received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Elizabeth City State University, where he graduated Cum Laude. During his last semester of undergraduate studies, he received credit from North Carolina State University after participating in their legislative internship program. While working in the legislature, he received his Master of Public Affairs from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Juan G. Garcia is the Transportation Planning Analyst for the Gaston County Planning and Development Services. Mr. Garcia has been with the Gaston County Government since 1997. Previously, he worked with Gaston College as Spanish Instructor and with the National Broadcasting Company as a News Writer. He served in the Decennial 2000 Census as the Latino Community Outreach Coordinator and served in the Decennial 2010 Census Complete Count Committee as the Technical Manager. Mr. Garcia is the Gaston County 2020 Decennial Census CCC Multi-Cultural Outreach Coordinator. Juan serves in different Health and Transportation Committees in Gaston County.
Gwendolyn Kea currently serves as the CFO at Saint Augustine’s University. A Philadelphia native, she began her career in the Raleigh area in 1996. Gwen opened her business Premier Tax and Accounting Group, Inc. in 2008.
Dr. Allisa Shepard is Senior Manager at TNTP, where she partners with senior leaders and staff to lead the implementation of strategic talent and workforce priorities to transform children's educational outcomes. Before her work at TNTP, she worked as a Partnership Specialist with the US Census Bureau to establish partnership agreements with federal, state, local governments, non-profits, and businesses to increase the count of minority groups, children, and veterans. She also worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, providing counseling and employment services to disabled veterans.
Dr. Shepard is originally from Trelawny, Jamaica, but called Queens, New York home for nearly 15 years. She spent four years in the US Air Force, where she deployed numerous times to support Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. She holds a Doctor of Education from the University of Southern California, a Master in Education, Guidance and Counseling from Bowie State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Queens College.
Cornell P. Wright, MPA, is a prominent national leader and subject-matter expert in health equity. Wright serves the Alliance for a Healthier Generation as their first-ever Chief Health Equity Officer.
Stacey is the Executive Director of the NC Counts Coalition. She began working with the Coalition in August 2017.
Stacey is an attorney and a member of the North Carolina State Bar. She earned her juris doctorate degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law (Eagle Pride Amplified). Stacey’s commitment to service and her passion for protecting human rights led her to complete a certificate program in constitutional law and civil rights. In that program, she focused her studies on the 14th Amendment and the resegregation of public schools in North Carolina. Following law school, Stacey hung her own shingle and opened Carless Law. There, she utilized her life experiences, legal knowledge and passion for justice to advocate for her clients in the judicial system.
Stacey is American bawn (born) and Jamaican raised; she is the daughter of Jamaican immigrants. She was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina and is a proud UNC alumna! Stacey earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she double majored in Journalism and Mass Communications and Political Science. While attending law school, Stacey worked in transportation, project management, and public relations.
In her free time, Stacey enjoys Zumba, spending time with her family and friends, and exploring Downtown Raleigh and Downtown Durham. Stacey is a volunteer attorney with Legal Aid of North Carolina, where she advocates for tenant rights in eviction matters.
A season professional with over twenty years of managerial experience, Rita provides expertise and leadership in human resources, grant management and strategic operations.
Originally from rural eastern North Carolina, Rita grew up always wanting to help others. She always had a passion for people and a drive for excellence. This drive to advocate for others led her to law school. After graduating and passing the bar, Rita worked as the managing attorney for several years at a Raleigh law firm.
Rita has a bachelor’s degree in sociology, with a minor in social and economic justice from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and she received her juris doctor (JD) degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law.
Originally from Chicago, Kyle Brazile joined NC Counts after an extensive career in higher education and law. He is the former in-house counsel at St. Augustine’s University and spent nearly 15 years in higher education, which includes time working at UNC Chapel Hill and his alma mater, NC Central University School of Law, as the Assistant Dean for Admissions. He received his undergraduate degree in business and English from Fisk University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and graduated from the W.E.B DuBois Honors program. He received an M.A. degree from the University of Chicago with a focus in political science. Kyle completed his law degree in 2013 from NC Central’s evening program.
Kyle believes in the transformative nature of justice and education in our democracy, and enjoys advocating by using his privilege to empower others. He currently lives in Durham with his brilliant daughters, and is a lover of books, jazz, hip-hop and social justice.
Shalondra joins the NC Counts Coalition with over 10 years of hands-on experience in equity initiatives and capacity building. Her most recent work for the Department of Commerce in the US Census Bureau as a Partnership Specialist focused on building partnerships with local businesses, organizations and educational institutions in order to develop ongoing relationships and share information on the Census. She has worked with national nonprofit organizations and universities including Michigan State and North Carolina State for over ten years in program development and marketing.
From Detroit Michigan, the strait of Lake Erie and better known as Motown, Shalondra focuses on educating and serving others through equity work. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business from Wayne State University. She also holds a Juris Doctorate, Master of Library Science and MBA. Shalondra works on the motto to "think globally and act locally."
In her free time she serves as a board member for Voyager Academy in Durham, NC and enjoys spending time with her family.
Angeline Echeverría is the Director of Partnership for NC Counts Coalition, coordinating member recruitment and capacity-building and supporting Census 365, health equity, and redistricting efforts. Angeline is a passionate advocate for immigrant and worker rights, reproductive justice, and intergenerational organizing. Prior to joining NC Counts, Angeline served as the executive director for El Pueblo and co-founded their 501c4 affiliated organization. Prior to working with El Pueblo, Angeline served in different capacities for women’s and immigrant workers’ organizing in the southeast and beyond.
Angeline’s roots are in Cuba, upstate New York, and South Carolina and they have lived in Raleigh since 2012. Angeline credits Durham-based Student Action with Farmworkers for starting them on the path to social justice work through an undergraduate internship program they participated in while earning a BA in Latin American Studies from the University of South Carolina-Columbia.
Outside of work, Angeline enjoys Zumba, soccer, and spending time outdoors.
Tracy is a North Carolina native. Born, raised, and currently residing in the BIG CITY of Henderson, North Carolina. She loves working in her community, spending time with her family, event planning, and has a passion for helping young people.
Tracy has a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from North Carolina Central University and comes to NC Counts Coalition with nearly two decades of experience in the Communications, Marketing, and Public Relations fields.
When Maru Quintero embarks on a new professional journey, she does so because she loves its mission and vision. Every journey that she has been on has always had one goal in mind: serving the community. Her work as a Partnership Specialist for the Census Bureau during the 2020 census allowed her to learn more about the different communities that coexist in the state of North Carolina. This assisted her to develop positive professional relationships with different organizations throughout the state, thus strengthening her desire to better serve the community.
Maru was born in Caracas, Venezuela where she obtained a Bachelor of Communications.
Some of the things she enjoys the most are dancing, singing, reading, and definitely spending time with her family and friends.
Byron is the Training & Capacity Building Manager for Wake County returning to NC Counts Coalition in May 2021.
Byron has an educational background in Social Work earning his degree from North Carolina A&T State University in 2011. Less than a month after graduating Byron entered the Advance Standing Program at North Carolina State University where he received his Master of Social Work degree in 2012.
As a proud Raleigh native Byron has a passion for helping others regardless of their circumstances. Prior to joining NC Counts Byron spent several years working in youth development with the Boys & Girls Clubs in Eastern North Carolina as well as here in Raleigh. Byron is the co-founder of What's The 919: A Raleigh Resource Guide a collective of local leaders committed to bridging the gap between people and the information needed for them to be more informed and engaged citizens.
Wanda has spent most of her personal and professional life advocating for social justice and equality across many different movements. She’s a self-described “old soul hippie” who experienced coming of age in the 1970s during the onset of the integration of public schools (busing) when she quickly realized that “separate but equal” did not exist. Wanda quickly embraced the power of grassroots advocacy through community civic engagement at an early age. She believes change is most effective in communities, by communities. With the right resources and support communities hold the power in bringing about awareness and change for equality and justice for all regardless of race, gender, and spiritual identity, which for each of us, she believes to be a deeply personal albeit transformative journey.
Wanda earned both a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communication at Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY, and BA in Social Science (Communication Studies) at UNC Greensboro
She lives in Durham, NC, with her forever fur buddy, Sebastian.
Angélica was born to Mexican migrant farmworkers who eventually settled in NC. From a young age, she witnessed injustices that instilled in her a high sense of commitment to the struggle for social justice. She has been involved in several social justice movements that include immigrant rights, women’s reproductive rights, and gender equality.
Prior to joining, NC Counts Coalition, Angélica served as the Executive Director of Our VOICE, Inc., an anti-sexual violence and human trafficking organization for nine years. In that role, she was the recipient of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s Visionary Voice Award for the State of North Carolina.
She was also a William C. Friday Fellow for Human Relations, and a WNC Non-profit Pathways Leadership Fellow. Angélica currently serves on the Governor’s Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice.
Angélica has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Social Science from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, North Carolina and a Juris Doctorate from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina. She currently lives in Asheville with her husband, their beautiful daughter, and lively dog.
Frankie Denise Penn Powell, born in Winston-Salem, NC and reared in Philadelphia, PA. She is a graduate of Bennett College who earned a doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies from UNC Greensboro, studying the Future Orientation of African American 7th Grade Youth.
Dr. Powell has held administrative positions in both education settings and clinical settings. She operationally created the Pediatric Behavioral Specialist position at Amos Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center as well as the founding directorship of the Maya Angelou Institute for the Improvement of Child and Family Education (a public service center in The University of North Carolina system at Winston-Salem State University). She began her focus on education disparities and health disparities while at the Institute.
Dr. Powell currently serves on the Health Equity Committee, Maternal Health Sub-Committee of the National Council of Negro Women. She is a Southeast Regional Co-Leader for the Intercultural Cancer Council (ICC) Regional Network. Dr. Powell is also an At-Large Member, (Governor appointee), of the North Carolina Advisory Committee on Cancer Coordination and Control (ACCCC), North Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Branch, Chronic Disease and Injury Section, North Carolina Division of Public Health, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. She is a founding member of the North Carolina Women of Color Research Network – NIH. She is a past Southeastern Regional Council President of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR); immediate past National Parliamentarian of the Bennett College National Alumnae Association; and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
Mary Jose is the Regional Director for Healthier Together in Region 3. Growing up in a mixed-status family, Mary Jose was able to experience the injustices immigrant communities faced firsthand. At age 15 Mary Jose co-founded an immigrants’ rights youth advocacy group named United 4 the DREAM, which cultivated approximately 60 youth leaders in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. With over ten years of organizing experience, Mary Jose has been involved in various social justice issues including immigrants’ rights, ICE rapid response, and against police brutality.
Prior to joining NC Counts Coalition, Mary Jose worked on civic engagement efforts with a focus on Latinx voters in North Carolina. She coordinated non-partisan Get Out the Vote canvassing efforts, voter registration, voter education and supported the creation of statewide voter education materials from 2017-2020.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and pets, playing video games with her friends, and camping in the mountains.
Melissa Funderburk was born in South Carolina; but has lived in Charlotte, North Carolina most of her life. Melissa has been in Health Care for over 20 years. She graduated from Ashford University (Forbes School of Business) with a Masters of Business Administration/ marketing, a Masters of Organizational Management/Project Management, Bachelors in Healthcare Administration, and a certificate in Comparatives Equality and Anti-discrimination law from Stanford University.
Nakiya is an "Army Brat" that grew up traveling the world with her military family. From a young age, she's experienced the benefit of "community" and understood that each person contributes to that community's ability to thrive. Her experience of losing her grandfather to heart disease led her to work in health equity both in her career and her entrepreneurial pursuits. Nakiya is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Nakiya was a part of the NC Counts Coalition staff during the 2020 Census campaign. She served in the Cumberland County region as a staff member to help create a more equitable census and on the Cumberland County Complete Count Committee. After the Census, Nakiya worked as the Southeastern Regional Organizer for Black Voters Matter. In 2021, She finally returned home to NC Counts to work on the Healthier Together team.
Nakiya can be seen in the community doing work with NC Counts, community service and civic engagement with her beloved Sorority, teaching yoga, or hanging out with her nieces and nephews.
Born and raised in Fayetteville, Aja is glad to be back home as the Region Five Operations Manager for NC Count’s Healthier Together program. Aja has a deep commitment and love for their community and wants to play their part in doing what they can for the people of Southeastern NC.
Aja completed a bachelor's degree in Communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During this time, Aja learned important lessons about community, organizing, and liberation from the many people that poured into her. Professionally, Aja has previously worked on nonpartisan civic engagement both statewide and locally.
Outside of work Aja serves as a steering committee member for the Ella Baker Organizing Collective. They also enjoy frequently taking up new hobbies and spending time with loved ones.
All that Aja does is in the hope of creating a more pleasurable and joyful world for those most marginalized.
Cheryl Bryant is the Region 6 Field Director of the Healthier Together project. She is a seasoned professional with substantive experience in social work, grant management, project management, program development and capacity building. For over 30 years, Cheryl has been committed to improving the social and economic health of North Carolinians through her tenure with state agencies, nonprofits and community-based organizations. Her volunteer pursuits include grassroots advocacy, grant reviewing, nonprofit consulting, political campaign management, scholarship development and sponsorship of summer enrichment camps for students.
Cheryl was born in Washington D.C., and she is a long-term resident of Eastern North Carolina. Her commitment to serving others was propelled by her family’s history of public service and her lived experience with health disparities.
She is a proud UNC graduate with a Master of Social Work degree.
|7 Directions of Service|
|A Better Chance A Better Community|
|Acción Hispana - Que Pasa|
|Advocacy House Services, Inc.|
|Alternative Learning Center & Community Engagement, Inc|
|Araminta Ross Legacy Circle|
|Association of Mexicans in North Carolina, Inc. (AMEXCAN)|
|Bayard Rustin LGBTQ APRI|
|Bethesda Center for the Homeless|
|Bounty & Soul|
|CAMBODIAN CULTURAL CENTER OF NC|
|Carolina Jews for Justice|
|Center for Participatory Change|
|Centro Unido Latino Americano|
|Challenges of the 21st Century|
|CityGate Dream Center|
|Common Cause North Carolina|
|Community Technical Assistance, Inc.|
|Compañeros Inmigrantes de las Montañas en Acción (CIMA)|
|Conetoe Family Life Center|
|Cool Spring Missionary Baptist Church / CoolSpring Fit|
|Dream Center Charlotte|
|Duplin Christian Outreach Ministries|
|Durham Chapter APRI|
|EBC ATOM Project, Inc.|
|El Centro (Brevard)|
|El Centro of Henderson County|
|ENLACE - Latin American Council of Charlotte|
|Episcopal Farmworker Ministry|
|Faith & Victory Christian Church|
|FaithAction International House|
|Fayetteville Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc|
|Fayetteville Police Accountability Community Taskforce|
|Food Bank of the Albemarle|
|Foundation YMCA of Wilson County|
|Friends of the Earth|
|FUERZA Y UNIÓN MÚLTIPLE - FUM|
|Future Endeavors Life Program|
|Gang Free Inc.|
|Garner Road Community Center, Inc.|
|Giver of Destiny Corporation|
|HandsOn Northwest North Carolina|
|Helping All People Excel, Inc.|
|Helping Hands USA|
|Hogar del Inmigrante Inc.|
|HOLLA! Community Development Corporation|
|Iglesia La Semilla|
|International Friendship Center|
|Jacksonville APRI Chapter|
|Jones County Community Hope, Inc.|
|Latino Association of Davidson County|
|Latino Commission on AIDS|
|Let's Make It Happen Together, INc.|
|Lila LGBTQ Inc.|
|Lionel Lee Jr. Center for Wellness|
|MoCo Life 910, Inc|
|Montagnard Dega Association|
|Mt Zion AME Zion Church|
|Mujerxs Organizando Oportunidades Notables/MOON|
|NAMI South Mountains, NC|
|Nariah's Way Foundation|
|National Women of Achievement|
|NC FIELD, Inc.|
|NC Rural Center|
|Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods|
|Next In Line Community Outreach Center|
|North Carolina Asian Americans Together|
|North Carolina Business Council|
|North Carolina Coalition of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc.|
|Pitt County Alumane Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.|
|Project Cover, Inc.|
|Raleigh Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.|
|Raleigh Village East|
|Raleigh Youth Chapter APRi|
|Robeson County Church and Community Center|
|Scotland Neck Community Task Force Team|
|Scotland Youth Development|
|Selfless Nonprofit Organization|
|Shackle Free Community Outreach Agency, Inc.|
|Spiritual Destiny Int’l Ministries|
|The Capers' Cares Foundation|
|The Caraway Foundation|
|The Help Center NC|
|The REACH Center|
|The Twenty Inc.|
|The Wright's Center, Inc./BCVEC|
|Thirtieth Judicial District Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Alliance|
|Triangle Cultural Awareness Foundation|
|Triangle Empowerment Center Inc|
|Triangle Native American Society|
|U2U/ Little Rock CDC|
|ULECAN Union de Latinos en el Este de Carolina del Norte|
|Unity Fellowship Church Movement|
|Wake County Southern Christian Leadership Conference|
|Word Tabernacle Church|
|You Can Vote|