educate and empower to lead.

REACH has a vision for community members to be personally and economically empowered, and aims to collaborate with area residents, churches, businesses, and other human service agencies meet that goal. Not only will community members have their basic human needs met, they will also have equal opportunities and access to quality education, employment, housing, recreation, and programs for youth. Through building a strong coalition of citizens from all walks of life, REACH collaborates to empower each other and the entire community.

REACH founders Devon Hall and Dothula Baron-Hall

REACH founders Devon Hall and Dothula Baron-Hall

The Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help (REACH), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in 2002 by Duplin County residents Devon Hall and Dothula Baron-Hall in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd to provide services to empower low-income families and people of color. The organization has also sought to address potential health effects of living close to industrial agricultural facilities, problems stemming from mental and emotional oppression, economic inadequacies, employment and education needs, lack of single family housing, racial and cultural imbalances, and limited youth programs and services.


Our Leadership


Devon Hall, Sr.

Devon is the co-founder and program manager of REACH, and co-producer of the documentary Swine Country. Devon is a native of Duplin County and lives there today, personally exposed to the impacts of swine and poultry operations concentrated in his community.

Over the last decade, Devon has assisted in REACH’s collaboration with UNC-Chapel Hill and Johns Hopkins University on four water research projects, three air research projects, two pediatric health research projects, and four occupational health research projects, including:

  • Community Health Effects of Hog Operations (CHIEHO) with UNC-Chapel Hill and Concerned Citizens of Tillery, NC, 2005;

  • Duplin Environmental Health Awareness Project with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and an environmental justice small grant (2005-2006);

  • Environmental Justice Problem Solving grant (EPA, 2007-2010);

  • Rural Air Pollutants and Children’s Health Education (UNC-CH, 2007-2009);

  • Community Environmental Awareness Project (United Food and Commercial Workers, 2008-2009);

  • Water Sampling Project (UNIH, 2010-2011);

  • Exposure to Bacteria and Viruses Among Livestock Workers (UNC-CH, 2011-2012);

  • Exposure to MRSA and other viruses among household members (UNC-CH and Johns Hopkins, 2013-2014).


Larry Cooper

Larry is the Administrative Director of REACH, responsible for planning for REACH and the success of the community, North Carolina, and the nation. His loyalties lie with his church, the elderly, the NAACP, and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

Prior to REACH, Larry worked for 34 years as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Duplin and Hertford Counties, and retired in 2009 as assistant superintendent of the Hertford County Public School System. Larry received his B.S. from Fayetteville State University, studying history and political science, and holds a master’s in Public School Administration.

Our Board

William Carr, Board Chair

Luby Waters, Treasurer

James Cooper

Melvin Felton

Jessie Ladson

Allie Sheffield

Sherri White