NC CEAL Engaging Community Health Workers to Achieve Health Equity in North Carolina

Engaging Community Health Workers to Achieve Health Equity in North Carolina was a capacity-building training hosted by NC CEAL and CCPH. The training provided an up to date overview of community health workers (CHWs) in North Carolina. 

By participating in the training, participants were able to gain better insights about CHWs’ lived experiences to inform their health equity work, creating new connections between community members and CHWs and identifying best practices on how to engage CHWs in their communities. 

Participants received a key takeaway one-pager, slide deck, English recording, and Spanish Interpretation recording.

We hope by attending this training, participants will better understand the work of CHWs and new strategies to engage CHWs in their community leading to new and meaningful partnerships in the future.

Watch the English Recording:

Watch the Spanish Interpretation:

Banner graphic with picture of Chiquitta W. Lesene, MS, NCRT, I/O Psychologist, Speaker

Chiquitta W. Lesene, MS, NCRT (National Certified ROMA Trainer), and Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, speaks the language of poverty. She is well aware of the “shackles” that individuals face while navigating through life, such as employment, education, housing, child care, transportation, “wrong door’ ‘ referrals, teen pregnancy/crime,  and generational patterns of poverty. Among other licenses and certifications, she holds a graduate degree in Industrial & Organizational Psychology – deemed “the psychology of people working together” from Grand Canyon University. She also holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Fayetteville State University with a concentration in Human Services.

As the recipient of the 2023 NAACP Award for Civic Engagement/Community Service, Ms. Lesene brings the testimony of her peers and those she serves to various boards and councils in Duplin County and surrounding areas. Ms. Lesene is a subject matter expert and professional trainer in the area of poverty, with both personal and professional experience to add to her heart of service. She has procured more than twenty years of tenure as a grant writer, developer, and administrator, acquiring more than 30 million dollars in federal, state, and local projects funded by entities including, but not limited to, the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control to name a few to help bring much-needed resources to vulnerable communities. Specifically, she supervised over 125 precinct election officials and successfully participated in the administration of 13 years’ worth of election activity in the Duplin County Elections Office.

Along with her partner and Chief Operating Officer, Benjamin J. Moore, Ms. Lesene co-founded Shackle Free Community Outreach Agency (COA), Inc. in 2019, inspired by her Camp Unity Summer Enrichment Programs, where she provided tutorial, recreational, and social support to at-risk youth and families in Duplin County.  Her unorthodox approach as a “trusted messenger” has spread throughout the community through The Shackle Free Buzz, the agency’s primary communication tool.

Ms. Lesene’s strengths-based approach has helped thousands of low-income and otherwise underprivileged individuals and families rise above federal poverty guidelines by providing emotional, educational, employment, and access to resources. Most recently, Shackle Free received the “Trailblazer Award” from NC CEAL for their tireless efforts in bringing new, innovative ideas to historically marginalized Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. Ms. Lesene believes in turning shackles into armor.


Emily Speaker Headshot

Emily D. Finley, MPH, based in Philadelphia, PA, is passionate about promoting health equity for historically marginalized populations, including immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ folks, and women. With a BA in English from Barnard College of Columbia University and an MPH in Community Health & Prevention from Drexel University, Emily has a wealth of experience in public health programming, health education, and community-driven research. From 2015-2019, she served as Community Health Educator at a public OBGYN and family planning clinic in Philadelphia, PA where she managed HIV/STI prevention services and expanded access to PrEP for women.

She was also a coordinator of the Philadelphia International Women’s Project, a novel academic-community partnership to build clinical and social services for immigrant women affected by female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Emily most recently volunteered with the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps and Philadelphia FIGHT to provide low-barrier, community-based COVID-19 testing services.

Joyce Page speaker headshot

Her work in public and community health spans over thirty years and includes assignments in eight states at the federal, state, county and local levels.

Currently, she works with a coalition of African American men who aim to educate and inspire other men to live healthier lives. She is certified to conduct workshops on preventing falls and managing chronic conditions, like diabetes. She trains lay health workers and community health workers to lead evidence-based workshops on diabetes, chronic disease self-management, pain management, and falls prevention.

Banner graphic with picture of Alexis Hill CCPH Engagement Specialist
Banner graphic with picture of Charisse Iglesias, PhD, CCPH Training & Resource Director