Leading on Opportunity Council Names New Co-Chair

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership Executive Selected for Council Leadership

Leading on Opportunity Council Member Erin Barbee Assumes New Role


CHARLOTTE, NC (July 8, 2020) -- The Leading on Opportunity Council has selected Erin Barbee, Senior Vice President Programs and Fund Development at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, to serve as its new co-chair alongside inaugural co-chair Andrea Smith, Bank of America’s Chief Administrative Officer. Barbee, a current Council member, replaces community and education advocate James E. Ford, who sits on the North Carolina State Board of Education, and now leads the Center for Racial Equity in Education (CREED), which he founded. Ford, an inaugural Council member, served two years as co-chair of the Leading on Opportunity Council.

“Erin is an excellent choice to succeed James in this role. Her passion for serving the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community and her commitment to excellence are assets to this Council and the work we have ahead in reconstructing the systems that impact economic mobility,” Smith said. “I also thank James for the opportunity to shape the initial framework for how our city and county can better serve those most vulnerable among us.”

Brian Collier, Executive Vice President of Foundation for the Carolinas and co-author of the Leading on Opportunity Task Force report welcomed Barbee and praised Ford for his tenure on the Council saying, “We are very excited to have Erin’s increased involvement as co-chair. She is already a force in our community and her energy will further propel our work advancing economic mobility. We appreciate James’ service to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community and his willingness to serve as one of the inaugural co-chairs of this endeavor. I know that his work in educational equity has been deepened by his involvement in the Leading on Opportunity Council.”

About Leading on Opportunity
Established in 2017, Leading on Opportunity aligns efforts across the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community to ensure every child has an equal chance for social and economic success by taking a systemic approach: addressing the key determinants of early care and education, college and career readiness, and child and family stability, while simultaneously focusing on the cross-cutting factors of segregation and social capital. Visit us online at www.leadingonopportunity.org.