Read about important Crossroads Charlotte events, information and activities.
Stories worth sharing this week:
Charlotte activist Roberta Dunn, who is transgender and sits on the board of the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, was “pleasantly surprised” to be invited to attend The White House’s annual holiday party Dec. 14. The visit will include a briefing with members of President Obama’s senior staff. Phil Hargett, a Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee steering committee member and former chair of the group, will join Dunn in Washington, D.C.
Charlotte Housing Authority commissioner Lucille Puckett was recently evicted from the public housing complex where she lived after meeting repeatedly with a man who had been banned from CHA property. The eviction also means the loss of her position on the housing authority's governing board. Do you think this was the proper course of action? Why or why not?
The middle class is beginning to shrink, as the ranks of the extremely wealthy and the extremely poor expand. Recent data shows that between 1970 and 2007, the volume of people living in poor and affluent Charlotte metro neighborhoods has doubled. And, understandably, the shift is a result of changes in income. Cities nationwide are seeing the same trend, according to a study released this month by Stanford University researchers.
Several students from the United Arab Emirates were removed from a flight from Charlotte to Washington, D.C. on Thanksgiving Day after the pilot told police at Charlotte-Douglas International there was a security concern. Nothing was found, and now the UAE wants more information about the incident and is asking how such situations may be avoided in the future.
This month the Front Porch Grants program kicked off the new season with a breakfast at The Light Factory to honor the 23 organizations that have received funding for the 2011-2012 cycle. The Front Porch Grants program, named to represent the simple gathering place of our neighborhood front porches, funds programs that increase trust, build bridges across differences and expand social connections and informal networks by building relationships. Grants of up to $2,500 are used to support the creation of small-scale gatherings that build social capital by exchanging ideas, experiences or actions. Crossroads Charlotte provides the framework for Front Porch Grants.
Over the next seven months, these 23 organizations will use limited funding to create impactful events that result in meaningful relationships and strengthen our diverse Charlotte community.
Stories worth sharing this week:
- Marie Johns, deputy director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, made a whistle stop in the Queen City this past week. She spoke at Johnson C. Smith University hoping to inspire tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. Johns has been touring the country encouraging young people to start their own businesses.
- Jennifer Roberts, chair of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, announced last week that she won’t seek re-election next year. But Roberts, a Democrat who first joined the board in 2004, may still have a future in politics. She said she has been in talks with state and national leaders about “other positions.”
- More repercussions from the ongoing CIAA hubbub: The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority’s Ereka Crawford-Brim, who was paid $115,000 in bonus money earmarked to her by the CIAA basketball tourney, resigned this past week.
- Bad news on the labor front. The North Carolina Justice Center recently crunched numbers compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and found that almost 18% of North Carolinians are looking for full-time work.
- Harding University High School is under siege. The school’s population doubled this past year with the closing of Waddell High. The student body now stands at 1,800. The number of violent acts, what the school district calls “incidents,” has jumped more than tenfold to 42 from four last year.
Hundreds of votes were cast this month, and Crossroads Charlotte is excited to announce the latest round of winners for A.C.T. (Achieving Community Today) Projects. A.C.T. Projects are designed to fund small initiatives that will connect people across lines of difference. Members of the community submit ideas, and the public decides which will get funding by voting on Facebook. The winners receive up to $500 to implement their projects. This cycle there were six winning projects:
Winner #1: The FACE Project: Friendships Across Charlotte Ethnicities by Amber Schrenkel
For a refugee child the process of assimilation to US culture can be a tough and scary road. The FACE Project will bring together Charlotte-born and foreign-born youth in a fun activity to build memories while also teaching both groups about each other’s cultures. The concept is to help youth from different ethnic backgrounds to create memories together and relate to one another as members of one society. The project will combine refugee children and their classmates in a setting outside of school and stimulate friendships and relationships that will extend throughout their lives. The group will go ice skating and enjoy lunch together.
Winner #2: Combining Two Worlds by Sheree Harper
Combining Two Worlds will bring youth and seniors together by establishing a youth/senior event. It’s important for youth to learn about past history, and also possess a sense of respect for the senior population. It is equally important and healthy for seniors to interact with individuals, especially youth. The goal is for both of these different cohorts to come together, and ultimately, learn and grow from one another. The event will include enjoyable activities that will promote health and wellness; also, serve as a way of connecting and strengthening both the senior and youth populations in Farm Pond.
Winner #3: Quilting Differences by Edwin Gil
Quilting Differences blends technology with art to create a forum for thoughtful discussion. We will bring together a diverse group of Charlotte’s residents, giving them an opportunity to express their understanding of another culture (race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, economy, etc) through painting and color. A diverse population of international participants will receive the same prompts, but will write their understanding through an online portal. These impressions will be combined in one large quilt of artwork and displayed publicly for the purpose of opening new discussions of diversity in Charlotte.
Winner #4: Reid Park Neighborhood Reunion by Artie Pryer
This project seeks to tackle the disconnect between the homeowners and the renters in Reid Park. It is very hard to get all residents from the neighborhood together, so having a reunion event will provide an opportunity to build relationships between the different cultural, ethnic, and age groups in the neighborhood. A facilitator will be hired to guide discussions, food will be served, a bounce-house will be available for the children, and music will be provided.
Winner #5: Enderly Park Holiday Ball by Jabari Adams
The Enderly Park Holiday Ball will connect the younger residents of Enderly Park with the adults of the community. Residents will come together to participate in activities that will promote Enderly Park community interests and culture. By coming together to eat and engage each other, relationships between the youth and adults of the community will be fostered and trust can begin to be built.
Winner #6: The Love Project: Beautiful from the Inside Out by A.M. Stewart
Love Project participants are domestic violence survivors. Through insight, wisdom and a visual photographic experience, participants can transform the way they think of themselves. Portraits of participants will be taken and combined with personal reflections in word and video formats. The process of seeing and describing one’s self-worth is healing and empowering. Each participant will receive a framed photograph from the portrait session as a visual reminder of their beauty and wisdom, inside and out. All photographs will be displayed at an exhibition on Valentine’s Day, reminding the community to look for love from within.
Congratulations to all of the winners! The next cycle of A.C.T. Project submissions will begin in early 2012!
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