Poverty remains elevated in North Carolina, creating barriers to opportunity in the daily lives of 1.4 million Tar Heels and cost us all directly and indirectly through the lost potential for full participation in our communities. Despite the economic recovery that began nationally in 2009, the persistence of elevated rates of poverty and the differences in the rates of poverty experienced by people based on the color of their skin, their gender, age or where they live make our it impossible to declare our economy healthy and thriving. The good news is we have the tools to remove the barriers to educational attainment, health and well-being, civic participation and long-run economic mobility that come from elevated, concentrated economic hardship.