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Read about important Crossroads Charlotte events, information and activities.

Glenda Manning (left) and Yolanda Bynum talk about challenges in education. Enlarge Glenda Manning (left) and Yolanda Bynum talk about challenges in education.
Greg Lacour Posted: October 30th, 2009 Greg Lacour

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After the screening of the Crossroads Charlotte movie, with its four visions of what Charlotte might be like in 2015, Brian Foreman asked the group at the Park Road YWCA which one they thought best reflected the Charlotte they knew.

“The Beat Goes On,” said one, referring to the segment about a still-prosperous but stagnant city.

“Fortress Charlotte,” said another, referring to the segment about a crime-ridden, economically depressed dystopia.

Vikkii Graham resolved the disparity.

“It depends on what side of Charlotte we’re talking about,” said Graham, a community volunteer. “I don’t feel like we have a unified Charlotte.”

Which, of course, was the point. The Oct. 29 discussion at the YWCA, “Beyond Festival In the Park,” was the latest in a series of conversations with Charlotte residents about the challenges facing the city and how ordinary people can help make things better.

About 10 people gathered in the Y’s auditorium for pizza and the movie, followed by a general group discussion, then a more intimate session with the group divided into two smaller ones.

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Rhiannon Fionn-Bowman Posted: October 30th, 2009 Rhiannon Fionn-Bowman
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Samhain (pronounced sam-HANE or SOW-en, depending on whom you ask) is the ancient version of what's now commercialized as Halloween. Commonly known as the "Witches New Year" by some who follow the Wiccan faith, this Celtic holiday pre-dates most modern religions and is a serious, not silly, day to let go of the old and make room for the future.

For the ancients, the year's seasons were important. If spring is a time of rebirth and renewal, the end of fall is a time to tuck the earth in for a long winter's nap.

So, for them, this time of year wasn't about sweets, dressing up or getting scared, it's was about celebrating the end of summer and all other things that have passed in the preceding seasonal cycle. Today, the celebration manifests itself as a time to rid yourself of anything in your life that's no longer useful -- like a bad habit or a heart ache.

"The holiday is all about purification, renewal and letting go of the old," says Christy Snow, a spiritual leader at The Spiritual Living Center of Charlotte. While she's not Wiccan, she has studied the faith for many years, along with other spiritual paths.

Because of centuries of repression and judgment, you won't find many people announcing their Samhain plans for this weekend; most will probably perform their rituals in a small group or at home.

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Aleigh Acerni Posted: October 28th, 2009 Aleigh Acerni
Astrid Chirinos draws the "ultimate" team member at the Women's Inter-Cultural Exchange's event.

More than 300 women (and men) of all ages and backgrounds gathered at Johnson C. Smith University on October 20 for the 2009 Multi-cultural Women’s Conference, with a theme of “Bridging the Chasm: Trust – A Business Essential,” featuring speakers Deepika Bajaj and Cherie Blair.

The event was organized by the Women's Inter-Cultural Exchange, a Charlotte group that promotes building social capital.

With a goal of building and strengthening personal and professional relationships among women across race and enthnicity, the half-day conference kicked off with author Deepika Bajaja, founder and president of Invincibelle, dedicated to helping diverse women thrive in a multicultural world, who presented a workshop and table discussions about trust, the theme of the event.

During the workshop, Bajaj led attendees through exercises during which they discussed how trust plays into their daily lives – at work, in our communities, and at home – and then offered ways they could better incorporate trust many different forms, from committing to being better listeners to realizing that, as Bajaj put it, “trust is a two-way street.”

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James Willamor Posted: October 27th, 2009 James Willamor
A volunteer sorts clothes at Crisis Assistance Ministry during Hands On Charlotte Day.

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More than 700 people participated in 26 service projects on Oct. 26 for Hands on Charlotte Day.

It's the city's largest single day volunteer event.

The goal of Hands on Charlotte, according to member Darlene Heater, is to meet the needs of the most challenged members of our community.

One of the service projects included sorting clothing donations at Crisis Assistance Ministry, just outside Uptown near Statesville Avenue.

John Wakefield, CAM's manager of production, spent 15 minutes explaining the importance and mission of Crisis Assistance Ministry to the 29 volunteers participating in the HOC Day event.

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