Traci is an intern with Dogwood Health Trust – with a focus on housing. She received her BA in Sociology with Highest Distinction from UNC-Chapel Hill. Under the McNair Scholars Program, she produced award-winning research on racial animosity. As a current UNC MPA candidate, she plans on bringing her perspective as a first-generation college graduate, who grew up near the poverty line, to her role with Dogwood – aiding DHT in addressing the social determinants of health in WNC.
Traci decided to return to school after years of acting as the resource center manager at Hillcrest in Asheville, a subsidized housing community. In this role, she fulfilled many responsibilities including case management, community outreach, volunteer coordination, and grant administration. She strategized with local partners on community initiatives to increase food and housing security. Most importantly, she saw firsthand how barriers toward upward mobility often intersected with race. As a steadfast collaborator, who is committed to constant learning, she has attended multiple racial equity trainings and has focused her courses on social and economic justice.
Many roles in her life have shown her examples of structural barriers to upward mobility. As a result, when she witnesses disparities, it is not an option for her to remain complacent. In working with Dogwood, she sees the opportunity to shed light on local obstacles toward equity and potential solutions for alleviating them. Traci hopes to use the knowledge gained through her internship and continued education to launch a career as a public servant in community development in North Carolina.