Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc., is sponsoring the first in a series of East Kinston Community Meetings on Thursday, March 14, 2013 from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. at Emmanuel Hill Memorial Free Will Baptist Church located at 401 N. Rochelle Blvd., in Kinston.  (next to Rochelle Middle School).

The purpose of the meeting is to bring together elected officials, community leaders and residents to talk about ways to improve the quality of life for residents in East Kinston communities.

Community leaders who have confirmed attendance for the meeting as of March 11 include Chief Bill Johnson, Director of Public Safety; Kinston City Council members Sammy C. Aiken and Robbie Swinson; North Carolina Representative George Graham; Adrian King, Director of Pride of Kinston;  Mildred Brown and Lincoln City Reunion coordinating committee; Malcolm Beech, Eagle News and Cultural Heritage Museum; Kinston native J. Lin Dawson, The Lin Dawson Youth Leadership Academy; Lenoir County Commissioners Roland Best and Jackie Brown; and Rev. John Flowers, pastor of Church of Faith and Deliverance.

For additional information contact Theresa Williams at 252/939-5587 or visit


The School of Government and the Kenan Institute at the University of North Carolina collaborated recently to create a strategic business plan for Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc., a nonprofit community collaborative organization modeled after the highly successful Harlem Children’s Zone in New York.  Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc. is focused on serving children and families in an 80-block area in East Kinston, NC and an additional 18-block area in a neighborhood called Mitchelltown.  The organization works through existing community-based programs to create a continuum of “cradle-through-college” solutions to improve the academic and developmental outcomes for children at all stages of growth: early learning, elementary school, middle school, high school, and college.

Kinston Promise Neighborhood partners have been operating since April 2010 with a dedicated leader and a small group of community volunteers.  Through the business planning process, we were able to articulate the vision and structure of the organization in a single document.  We also outlined a 5-year implementation plan to formalize and grow the organization; however, the bulk of the work will take place in Year 1.  In fact, one of the first key steps for implementation will kick off later this month.  Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc. will soon begin work with a group of researchers from Tufts University to conduct a comprehensive youth needs assessment in the target area.  This needs assessment is sponsored by the America’s Promise GradNation Communities program.

Other key implementation steps for Year 1 will include hiring staff, recruiting a strong Board of Directors, and, of course, raising funds.  The business plan outlines key staff positions, including job responsibilities, as well as recommendations for Board composition and governance.  The business plan also outlines projected financials for Years 1-5 of operations and provides a clear competitive analysis and risk analysis that can be reviewed by potential Board members or funders.  The strategic business plan provides an important road map for Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc. to move forward boldly and intentionally.  With a strategic business plan in hand, the organization can really begin to expand their work, formalize operations, and increase their impact on children and families in East Kinston.

For more information on Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc. visit

Betsy Robeson holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC.