Guilford County June 2021

Population
536,096

County Seat
Greensboro

Median Income
$53,261

Population Density Designation
Urban

We began our Extra Miles Tour of Guilford County with a lunch at North Carolina A&T State University, where Chancellor Dr. Harold Martin hosted a group of leaders, faculty and staff. A member of the UNC system, A&T is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the #1 public HBCU in the nation. It was the first college for people of color in North Carolina, founded in 1891, and is now the largest HBCU in the U.S., boasting a national reputation in STEM education and more than 70,000 alumni across the country.

Our discussion kicked off with conversation about how Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBUs) and community colleges prepare students and future workers for economic mobility in North Carolina. The hot-button topic was mental health – specifically, A&T’s approach to increasing awareness of mental health services, reducing stigma for seeking mental health care, and increasing availability and the type of services offered. Padonda Webb, Executive Director of A&T’s Student Health Center, noted that during the pandemic, this urgent issue has become even more pressing. Her team is preparing to offer services to a growing number of students as the university welcomes students back to campus.

Members of our team mentioned having heard similar issues from other schools across the state. Leaders suggested there may be opportunities for collaboration and resource sharing among HBCUs and other schools – a chance to share best practices, clinical expertise and ultimately provide greater access to care for students.

The final stop of the day was a tour of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum (ICRCM) in Greensboro led by museum CEO John Swaine. The museum commemorates February 1, 1960 – the day that four NC A&T college students began sit-ins at a whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro. The students’ non-violent directed action challenged the American people to make good on the Constitution’s promises of personal equality and civic inclusion in an event that was seminal to the Civil Rights Movement and our collective history. The ICRCM stands as a monument to the bravery and initiative of visionary young advocates of full citizenship and social justice.

The Community in Action

Meet Dr. Harold Martin

Dr. Harold Lee Martin Sr. formally began his tenure as the 12th chancellor of NC A&T State University in June 2009, bringing more than 30 years of transformative leadership experience in higher education to the role. He is the first alumnus to serve as the university’s chief executive. Under Martin’s leadership, NC A&T State University has become one of the nation’s top producers of African American graduates in engineering, mathematics, statistics, agriculture, journalism, marketing, physical sciences, and the visual and performing arts, During Martin’s tenure, the university has continually increased student enrollment and has grown its statewide economic impact to more than $1.5 billion. Chancellor Martin also serves on the Blue Cross NC Board of Trustees.

U39702, 10/21