Meet Our 2022 Better NC Fellows: Ebony Burnett

The NC Budget & Tax Center partners with the NC Black Alliance to host the BetterNC Fellowship, which is a 6-month opportunity for individuals to deepen their engagement and understanding in fiscal and economic policies in connection to the work they are doing in their communities. This year we welcomed our second cohort of BetterNC Fellows, who hailed from seven counties across North Carolina.

Join us throughout this month at as we learn more about our fellows and the projects they are implementing that integrate what they learned during their time in the fellowship.

Last week we learned more about Abby Karp and the work she is doing in Guilford County. This week we will introduce our final fellow blog of the series, Ebony Burnet.

Ebony Burnett (She/her/hers)

Ebony Burnett headshot

I am a wife to a great guy and a mom to 2 amazing kids. I currently serve at the YMCA Greensboro as the Association Youth Development Director and lead the Guilford County Child Advocacy Network (Guilford CAN). As a child advocate, I understand the power of the well-informed collective voice of the community. The BetterNC Fellows program gave me the “behind the scenes” information and tools needed to hold policy makers accountable, make informed legislative asks, and mobilize our community around real solutions.

For Ebony’s project, she aimed to get more people more connected to the legislative process by taking them on a tour of the NC General Assembly with the support of a local elected leader.

How did your experience with the BetterNC Fellowship connect to the work you are doing?

I applied for the BetterNC Fellowship to learn how our state budget worked and how tax dollars are used in our state. During the fellowship, we had a session on the Legislative process. This is where we learned more about the general assembly, how to engage with elected officials, and why who represents us is important. The content in the session was so valuable that I began thinking through ways I could better connect people with the legislative session.

In partnership with NC Child, my project was to conduct a post-election “advocacy day” where a group of us traveled to the NC General Assembly for a tour and to engage with newly elected officials. With our visit to the legislative building, advocates received a firsthand look at where important decisions are made.

In my county, with the people I work with, many are not connected to the leaders who make decisions and know the places where decisions are made. My entire focus for this fellowship has been thinking through how to empower people. How can I show them they truly have the power?

By going on a legislative tour and speaking to legislators and advocates, my hope is that more community members can become comfortable speaking with policy makers and will be able to ask questions.  The goal is to show people that their voice and vote makes a difference.

What do you think North Carolinians should know about budgeting in their communities?

There is power in making connections and sharing the information you know. I loved developing relationships with other fellows outside of the meetings. It has been great to see their work and build connections across the state.

How can you support Ebony’s work?

Asking organizations who are interested in partnering with you to email me.

This concluded our BetterNC blog series! We hope you enjoyed getting to know our fellows and learning more about how they are making the connections across the state. If you are interested in in learning more about the BetterNC Fellowship or being notified when we begin accepting new fellows in Spring 2024, please visit our website at