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Former Congresswoman Eva Clayton Hosts Rural Education Advocacy Day March 29

NC Advocacy Day

While North Carolina has the second largest rural population in the nation, the unique needs of rural school districts are often forgotten among other education discussions. Over two-thirds of North Carolina’s traditional public school districts are rural and nearly 40% of students in traditional public schools are educated in rural districts.  Low wealth rural communities lack community resources to attract and retain the best teachers and they lag behind on digital infrastructure.  If rural communities and our state are to have economic prosperity, rural public schools must rank high among our investment priorities.

The Rural Education Advocacy Day will foster bipartisan collaboration between policymakers, educators, business leaders, education organizations, civic and civil rights leaders, and parents.


  1. Make rural school districts a priority during the 2017-18 General Assembly and beyond.
  2. Increase funding for teachers, teacher recruitment and high-quality school leaders.
  3. Expand access to digital learning.

The event is hosted by former Congressman Eva Clayton. The first African–American woman to represent North Carolina in Congress, Clayton became the state’s first black Representative since 1901. From her post on the House Agriculture Committee, Clayton advanced the interests of her rural district in the northeastern part of her state and called attention to the economic inequalities that affected African Americans nationally.

Clayton claimed her seat in the 102nd Congress on November 5, 1992, and when the 103rd Congress convened in January 1993 she won spots on the Agriculture and Small Business committees. She became a staunch defender of the rural and agricultural interests of her district, which comprised 20 counties with numerous peanut and tobacco growers.

Along with Missouri Republican Jo Ann Emerson, she revived the Rural Caucus and rallied more than 100 Members to pledge continued federal aid to farmers, new rural jobs, and technology initiatives. In 1993 and 2000, respectively, Clayton voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China, insisting that both would adversely affect the agricultural industry and eliminate low–wage jobs from her district.

For more information contact us at or (919) 89A-DAY1 or (919) 892-3291.

Join us in attending Rural Education Advocacy Day on March 29 at the General Assembly.  Click here to register to attend.

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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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