Three members of the UNC Charlotte community are joining efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic locally after being appointed to the Mecklenburg County COVID-19 Recovery and Renewal Task Force.
UNC Charlotte alumni Victoria Avramović ’03, ’13 MPA and Keith Cradle ’07 MHA and social work professor Cheryl Waites Spellman were appointed to the group by the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners (Mecklenburg County BOCC). Avramovic will co-chair the 23-person task force. Spellman was recently appointed UNC Charlotte’s interim special assistant to the chancellor for diversity and inclusion.
The task force will examine and help address COVID-19 impact issues that are specific to employees, businesses, public health, education, the economy and the overall well-being of the residents in Mecklenburg County. They will develop a comprehensive Recovery and Renewal Plan of Action to be presented and recommended to the Mecklenburg BOCC for approval and action in the following substantive areas:
- Access to health care and eliminating health disparities
- Mental and emotional health
- Economic recovery, including help for small business
- Nonprofit recovery and human services
- Education and childcare
- Working families and vulnerable populations
- Housing and homelessness
- Jobs and workforce development
- Food security
- Arts and culture
Avramović currently serves as assistant director for community and economic development at the Centralina Council of Governments. In the role, she facilitates support and access to multiple federal and state funding opportunities, grants and administrative resources. She also develops and promotes the implementation of the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, which identifies high growth industries and occupations, and develops strategies to facilitate growth. Avramović earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Master of Public Administration from UNC Charlotte.
Cradle is the director of Youth and Juvenile Programs for the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, where he is responsible for youthful offenders dealing with incarceration and the staff associated with successful implementation of rehabilitation and re-entry and youth development programs. He earned a master’s degree in health administration from UNC Charlotte. In 2018, he received the Excellence in Leadership for Public Service Award from the University.
Spellman is a professor at UNC Charlotte School of Social Work. She is a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar and a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of American – the largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education and practice in the field of aging. Her research areas include healthy aging, long distance caregiving, intergenerational relationships, and culturally appropriate and responsive practice.
“I'm looking forward to participating in this very important task force. Recovery and renewal planning to address this pandemic, and the multiple inflection points, is paramount. The ultimate goal is to work toward helping our community to not only recover, but thrive,” Spellman said.
Other appointees include: Yvette Bessent, Gregory Boulanger, Brenda Campbell, Jasmine Chaney, Carrie Cook, Charles Grouse, Carlenia Ivory, Mohammed Jibriel, Kevin Kendrick Blanchard, Bernadette Joy Maulion, Jessica Montana, Maria (Gina) Navarrete, Mitzi Porter, Harold Rice Jr., Jessica Schorr Saxe, Sam Smith Jr., Sarah Stevens, Salma Villarreal, Marcenia Waters, Dietrick Williams, Jerome Williams Jr. and Elizabeth Star-Winer.
Mecklenburg County BOCC established the task force by resolution in early June to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mecklenburg County. The resolution can be read in full here: Resolution Establishing COVID-19 Recovery and Renewal Task Force.