Episode 7: Addressing the social determinants through legislation with NC State Representative Graig Meyer

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North Carolina State Representative Graig Meyer joins the podcast to offer examples of legislative solutions that address the social determinants of health across North Carolina. He describes his work across micro and macro levels, using skills to work both with individuals while also bringing a systemic perspective about how policy impacts the health and wellbeing of people. He also encourages social workers and helping professionals to be engaged in the political process and describes how promoting community health is inextricable from engaging in the public sphere. 

As one of only two trained social workers currently in the General Assembly, Rep. Meyer approaches legislation with an eye towards protecting those who are marginalized, vulnerable and oppressed. He successfully passed legislation to help families save money to care for their children with disabilities through adulthood; to help parents protect their children from online predators; to make it easier for families to set up guardianships for aging adults; and to help individuals and families by reducing the cost of home mortgage processing.

Rep. Meyer’s legislative committee assignments include Education (K-12), Finance, Judiciary I, Aging, and Homeland Security, Military & Veteran Affairs. Prior to becoming a legislator, Rep. Meyer spent sixteen years working in North Carolina’s public schools.From 1998 through 2014, he was the coordinator of the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate program. During his tenure leading there, the program had a 97.5% graduation rate and 100% of the program’s graduates enrolled in post-secondary education. From 2012 through 2014, Rep. Meyer also served as the Director of Student Equity for the Chapel Hill - Carrboro City Schools.

He has extensive experience with policy and staff development initiatives designed to end institutionalized racism and promote educational equity and excellence.

Rep. Meyer continues to work with schools and youth-serving non-profits as the co-founder and principal consultant with The Equity Collaborative, LLC.