“I love Dogwood’s value of ‘partnering with purpose’ and am eager for us to develop collaborations and find creative ways to help people care for their neighbors.”
Bishop José McLoughlin spent a number of summers in Western North Carolina during what he calls “his law enforcement days.” During that time, he worked as a police officer in Florida and in the U.S. Department of Justice in DC last serving as the special assistant/senior advisor to the assistant attorney general. José also was a youth leader and would bring high school students to Valle Crucis in the summers to serve people throughout Appalachia by doing home repairs for low-income individuals.
“My life’s devotion has been to serve others. And when I first visited WNC, I particularly fell in love with the people here.”
In the Episcopal Church, lay people and clergy elect their bishops. With his deep affinity for WNC, José felt especially blessed to have been elected Diocesan Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina in 2016. Prior to his election, José served congregations in the dioceses of Southeast Florida and Virginia. He holds a master’s in divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary, a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida, and has an honorary Doctor of Divinity from both the Virginia Theological Seminary and the University of the South in Sewanee, TN.
José is thrilled to be part of Dogwood’s Board of Directors seeing it as natural extension of his life’s work. And Dogwood’s strategic areas are consistent with the charge of the Diocese. Lack of healthcare access is a huge issue as is the concern about affordable housing in the region. The hard part, José notes, is that in a tourism-based economy, jobs cannot keep pace with the economy and the pandemic has only exacerbated that.
“I have always been in the people business and have had a fascination with the human condition, even in law enforcement. Dogwood’s goal is in line with what I feel my call has been: to meet the needs of people. I particularly love Dogwood’s value of ‘partnering with purpose’ and am eager for us to develop collaborations and find creative ways to help people care for their neighbors. I believe Dogwood will be a model for the nation.”
“If we strip away the nonsense, we can recognize that our charge is to care for our neighbors. Because everyone deserves to be cared for, to have a safe place, to be fed, and to be in a home.”
Support programs and networks that reduce deaths, treat addiction, and prevent first use
Help reduce disparities based on race, location, education and income factors
Invest in integrated heath care with seamless connections to supportive services
Support communities that promote healthy living and resiliency and help mitigate the impact of trauma, isolation and stress on individuals and families, especially those experiencing poverty
Support a well-funded, sustainable, competitive entrepreneur and small business ecosystem throughout the region
Help build a regional economic ecosystem that supports increased creation/retention of jobs and business ownership
Help build a skilled workforce with the knowledge and technical abilities to excel in a wide range of industry employment opportunities that provide a competitive, sustainable wage
Source, analyze and share a comprehensive, county-by-county data set that paints a full picture of work readiness, economic development and entrepreneurial needs and opportunities specific to Western North Carolina
Work in tandem with Economic Opportunity Strategic Priority to invest in career readiness at the community college and university levels
Support K-12 learning experiences with the resources and sustainability to provide an excellent academic and social-emotional education, so that all students graduate ready for college or career
Invest in an improved early childhood education ecosystem with the resources and sustainability to provide developmentally appropriate, affordable and accessible education and care to support ages birth to five, so that all children in WNC enter kindergarten ready to learn
Source, analyze and share a comprehensive set of publicly available data that provides a regularly updated, county-by-county picture of access, workforce and student outcomes in early childhood education and K-12 education specific to Western North Carolina
Loans, guarantees, and other financial tools to leverage funding opportunities
Increase affordable housing for lowest-income individuals and families
Support age-appropriate resources in affordable and workforce units, rental and owned
Invest in housing with sustainable supports for physical and mental health and wellbeing
Support healthy and safe revitalizations that work against displacement and gentrification, preserve home ownership and create generational wealth.