Advancing Racial Equity in Buncombe County, North Carolina

Dawn Hunter and Zo Mpofu talk about their work in developing a countywide Racial Equity Action Plan to support transformative dialogue, increase civic engagement, and formalize efforts to advance racial equity in Buncombe County, North Carolina.

Within the past year, the City of Asheville and Buncombe County, NC, have declared racism a public health crisis and implemented a number of concrete action steps to address it, including the development and approval of a countywide Racial Equity Action Plan. As part of this work, the county has continued on a path to address structural racism by following a roadmap for the equitable application of the collective impact framework. I had a chance to talk to Dawn Hunter and Zo Mpofu about their recent JPHMP article Leveraging Collective Impact to Address Structural Racism in Buncombe County, North Carolina.”

About the Authors

Dawn Hunter

Dawn Hunter

Dawn Hunter is the Network for Public Health Law’s Southeastern Region Director. Dawn is an experienced state health department policymaker whose work focuses on research, analysis, implementation, and capacity building related to the use of law and policy to improve health outcomes and advance racial equity.


Zo Mpofu

Zo Mpofu is the Program Manager for Community Health Assessment & Improvement for Buncombe County Public Health. Zo is certified in Collective Impact and a seasoned practitioner of Results Based Accountability. Zo is a frequent contributor to national convenings on policy, community engagement, program innovation, evaluation, and health equity.

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Camelia Singletary
Camelia Singletary, MPH, received her master’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina in 2015. Her research interests include exploring the implementation of school physical activity programs in combination with nutritional components. She is also interested in analyzing the adoption of physical activity and healthy eating skills from a social-cognitive perspective. As a public health communicator at JPHMP Direct, she hopes to create linkages between evidence-based research, public health coursework, and health certification competencies.

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