Calvin Allen, Trinity ’92, senior program director for Rural Forward at MDC, and Cate Elander, Durham County Early Childhood Coordinator, will join us to talk about their careers in community development. They have focused on economic development and strategies for breaking intergenerational poverty. We will hear how they got started, the twists and turns their careers have taken, and what they enjoy most about the work they do.
As the founding and senior program director for Rural Forward, Allen and his team work to identify, strengthen, and network rural N.C. leaders toward healthier and more thriving communities. In this role, he also works to connect leaders across rural county lines on specific issues, advance employment equity in rural N.C., investigate barriers to EITC uptake, and improve health access for the most vulnerable North Carolinians. Prior to Rural Forward, Allen worked at the Golden LEAF Foundation, the National Community Forestry Service Center, the Southern Rural Development Initiative, Public Allies North Carolina and the Dispute Settlement Center. Calvin holds a B.A. in English/literature and a certificate in nonprofit management, both from Duke University.
In her current role, Cate Elander works to improve coordination and alignment between county and community partners to strengthen Durham’s early childhood systems. Prior to this role, Elander worked at MDC, an organization focused on fostering equity and opportunity in communities throughout the South, and at the Durham Children’s Initiative. She also has experience working as a community organizer in Durham, Delaware, and Queens, and had a stint as the founder of an organization promoting socially-responsible volunteer tourism. Elander holds a B.A. in American studies and creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a master’s degree in urban affairs and public policy with a focus in community development from the University of Delaware.
This speaker series is for Duke students who want to learn more about careers in child and family policy. Meetings are designed to help students explore the wide range of job opportunities and careers available in the field of child and family policy while creating a network of students who share their professional interests.