Read about important Crossroads Charlotte events, information and activities.
Some stories worth sharing this week:
- Catholic Social Services receives a flood of donations--more than $11,000-–for its burial assistance program after an Observer story last week on the program’s fund running low.
- More than 1,100 people volunteered over the weekend in Union County for the United Way of Central Carolina’s annual “Day of Caring.”
- Felicia Haywood, a Charlotte respite care worker for Easter Seals United Cerebral Palsy, learned she’ll be going to Washington on Sept. 13 to receive a national award. “I am so blessed to have been given the opportunity to receive this award,” she said, “and while I appreciate the recognition, the real message is how important it is to care for others--your heart receives the biggest gift of all.”
- Charlotte Bobcats owner and NBA legend Michael Jordan gave $250,000 to help fund middle school athletics in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. At a time of massive budget cuts in CMS, it’s the largest-ever donation to the school system’s athletic programs.
- A warning about school bullying with a Charlotte angle: The 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey reveals some troubling news about bullying on CMS campuses. Sadly, social media provide a new outlet for kids to get picked on. Are you paying attention to what’s going on in your kids’ lives?
The need for additional affordable housing--and where it should be built--has been a hot topic in Charlotte over the last several months. Most people agree that building housing low-income people can afford is a good thing. They just don’t want it in their neighborhoods.
This year alone, communities such as Ballantyne and Ayrsley have successfully kept developers from building affordable housing units in their neighborhoods. Residents held protests and attended City Council meetings to voice their opposition against zoning changes that would’ve allowed the construction to begin.
On a warm summer evening, more than 150 people gathered in East Charlotte at the historic VanLandingham Estate.
No, it wasn’t for a wedding.
Instead, it was the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce’s first “Jazz on the Lawn” event at the beautiful estate. Normally held in Uptown, the event was put together to help promote and celebrate the diverse businesses and people on the east side of the city.
“We see this as an important diversity and inclusion strategy,” said Keva Walton, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Diversity at the chamber. “We are growing a chamber that is more inclusive.”
The Women’s equality movement could use a cause celebré. It needs another Hillary Clinton to rally pantsuit-wearing professional women. It needs another Sarah Palin to rally folksy stay-at-home-moms.
I came to this realization while covering the Women’s Equality Day: Celebrating Women: Past, Present and Future event hosted by The Mecklenburg County Women’s Advisory Board at the Levine Museum of the New South on Monday. The event drew more than 75 women of all ages eager to celebrate and reflect on the advances women have made. They also discussed the hurdles women still face.
“We’re not there yet, but we’ve certainly made huge strides,” said Sally McMillan, history professor at Davidson College.
We know the strides--women hold public offices, they’re CEOs of major companies and they’re a majority of our college graduates. We also know the challenges--they’re victims of domestic violence, they don’t receive equal pay and many can’t afford childcare.
The problem is the hurdles aren’t polarizing enough. McMillan admits it's tough getting her students at Davidson to be interested in women’s history and women’s struggle for equality. The problem is that the struggle for women’s equality is simply history for today’s younger generation. They can’t relate to the struggles of their foremothers. It easy to see a Clinton, a Palin or even an Oprah and feel disconnected from the fight that opened the door for them.
Affordable daycare, stiffer domestic violence penalties and equal pay seem more like part of the everyday life than a cause for protest. The Women’s Equality event at the Levine was an important reminder that these issues shouldn’t be accepted as part the daily routine. They are reasons for today's women to fight and protest so their daughters can benefit from the gains they've made.
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