Elizabeth Star (Liz) is a dedicated community advocate for health, education, and social justice issues. She brings visionary leadership in driving systems change by leveraging non-traditional community assets. Her informed advocacy platform and strong cultivation of long-term, trusted relationships with multiple stakeholders provides the foundation of financial and social resources needed to address complex social issues.
Under Liz’s leadership, the foundation focuses on building strategies to reduce the disparities in health care access and advocating for additional investment in early childhood. Liz works to aligns systems and financial resources in support of maternal health, early childhood development and education efforts across North Carolina.
Collaboration and Advocacy: Liz is Co-founder of the North Carolina Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, also known as Invest Early NC. This group of funders uses a systems-change framework to identify strategic funding opportunities to make lasting progress in early childhood on the state level.
Resiliency: Liz convenes key partners to raise awareness around adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and leverages these partnerships across state infrastructure to make lasting change. This work led to a two-year grant funded project known as the Charlotte Resilience Project – a collaboration with Mecklenburg County and over 30 community partners to increase awareness of ACEs and toxic stress through the screening of the film Resilience. Since the project began in 2018, the film has been shown to more than 7,000 individuals and encouraged organizations to integrate trauma-informed practices into their services, programs, and staff training. This local work led to a partnership with statewide agencies to screen Resilience on UNC-TV in November 2019. The foundation sponsored and collaborated with a group of leaders to plan and host the first statewide ACES conference in March 2021.
Reproductive Health: Liz led a multi-stakeholder collaborative effort in 2018 to provide financial and programmatic support for the Mecklenburg County Unintended Pregnancy report identifying barriers and recommendations to improve health care access for women. As a Lactation Consultant & Childbirth Educator for Novant Medical Center (2006-2016), she provided both inpatient and outpatient lactation services including coordinating outreach to OB/GYN and pediatric practices to improve breastfeeding rates. Liz also worked on the Novant Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative helping Novant become the first Hospital in Charlotte to be awarded this designation.
Community Leadership: Liz serves on the Boards of NC Smart Start and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library Foundation and Advisory Boards for the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, and Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. She also serves on the NC State Board for Nurse Family Partnership home visiting program.