Read about important Crossroads Charlotte events, information and activities.
Charlotte has a wealth of organizations and agencies that serve immigrants (including refugees, asylees, and internationals) but no one place where immigrants can get information about all of them. A group of Crossroads volunteers has decided to put one together. The decision came April 29, at the end of the third “More Than Talk: Immigrants & Community Access” session. The effort began with a November meeting at International House about some of the challenges immigrants face in Charlotte. Last month, Crossroads began a three-part series of meetings to talk in more detail about the problems and arrive at a specific solution in the form of a community initiative. The small group that attended on the 29th was made up mainly of advocates – representatives from the Latin American Coalition, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Mecklenburg County's Department of Social Services, City of Charlotte's Community Relations Committee, Queens University of Charlotte, Crisis Assistance Ministry , and Grassroots Leadership Inc. They quickly focused on the lack of coordination among agencies and organizations as one of their main problems. It’s hard enough for immigrants, especially those who don’t speak English well or at all, to even learn that they can get help, much less where to find it. A great first step, the group agreed, would be a comprehensive catalogue of agencies, organizations and individuals, with contact information and a short summary of the services they provide. “And this city doesn’t have that,” said Anna Carter, an active Habitat for Humanity volunteer. “This is crazy.”
On Wednesdays, Crossroads Charlotte Correspondent Meaghan Clark will give you a round-up of community-building news and events:1. The Special Olympic Games bring triumph and cheers for local students. Country Day School hosted the annual competition that included hundreds of participants.
2. Forget the four-hour drive to the ocean, and visit BeachFest Matthews this weekend. Music, games, tournaments and arts and crafts mean you’ll get more than just a sunburn!
One by one, the members of the English as a Second Language class at Newell Elementary School ticked off the things they’d like to see in their community: good schools, job opportunities, safe neighborhoods, tolerance of diversity.
Essentially, what just about everyone wants. Imagine that.
But the people enrolled in Central Piedmont Community College’s ESL program face obstacles unique to immigrants. In addition to the hardships of assimilation and prejudice, they have to struggle against a system that makes it increasingly hard for them to earn citizenship – and a culture that’s increasingly hostile to their presence.
At the program’s request, Crossroads arranged for the 50 or so people who take an ESL class at Newell – the vast majority of them Latino – to hear and view the basic Crossroads presentation, an overview of the four scenarios for 2015 and group discussions afterward. But this was different. It was the first time an ESL class of recent immigrants had taken part in a Crossroads presentation.
The discussions uncovered difficulties most of us never have to think about.
On Wednesdays, Crossroads Charlotte Correspondent Meaghan Clark will give you a round-up of community-building news and events:
1. Stranded? Far from home? Need help? A British boys' soccer team who couldn't get home because of Iceland's erupting volcano learned the true meaning of Southern hospitality.
2. Students from schools in Union County participated in a national Day of Silence, to protest abuse and harrassment suffered by gay, lesbian and transgender students.
3. Summer jobs are going to be hard to find this summer, especially for African-Americans. The jobless rate for black teens is at an astonishing high rate, making competition fierce.
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Crossroads Charlotte presents four stories based on real data about Charlotte's future and asks the community to Imagine Our Tomorrow and respond to the stories.Imagine
Crossroads Charlotte offers numerous ways for citizens to get involved in our community and help shape Charlotte's future. Act Today and make a difference.Act