Read about important Crossroads Charlotte events, information and activities.
Chris Johnson says he’s never found himself at a place where he necessarily wanted for anything. But the 19-year-old journalism student said he got a recent education in just how fortunate he’s been in life.
A film presented by Crossroads Charlotte, Temple Beth-El and Mecklenburg Ministries called “Souls of Our Neighbors” attempted to dispel certain myths about homelessness to a roomful of about 50 gathered Saturday, March 24, at UNC Charlotte’s new Uptown Campus. Most of those attending were from area high schools. Though a contingent of about a half dozen kids from the University of South Carolina Upstate, including Johnson, also attended.
The film depicts the real-life experiences of six Charlotte families who faced and overcame homelessness in what, by many measures, is regarded as one of the most prosperous cities in the country.
Johnson, a sophomore from Hampton, S.C., said he found the story of the Masters family particularly compelling.
Richard and Stacey Masters found themselves having to live in a tent in the woods for five months, even though Stacey had a full-time job. Their two daughters had to do their homework by candlelight.
Sustain Charlotte is a local nonprofit that hopes to solve Charlotte’s sustainability challenges. By all accounts, it looks like Charlotte has a mile-high climb.
But there’s reason for optimism. Sustain Charlotte, along with UNC-Charlotte’s graduate program in Urban Design, will host the first Community Sustainability Awards on Saturday, March 31.
Leaders from local nonprofits, government agencies, businesses and schools will be recognized for their civic action. More than 70 nominations were made. The event is 7-9 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at UNCC’s Center City Building at 320 E. 9th St. The 143,000-square-foot building, which opened last fall, makes for an appropriate venue since it’s LEED-certified.
Local citizens will be rewarded for their efforts at improving the Queen City’s air quality, public transportation, water quality, energy efficiency, parks and green space, said Shannon Binns, executive director of Sustain Charlotte.
Sustain Charlotte is a nonprofit that hopes to ensure a sustainable future for the entire Charlotte metropolitan region, Binns said.
The next challenge facing Charlotte’s leaders isn’t the fight for equality, but the fight to treat each other ethically. This is a struggle without an easily recognizable enemy. This battle doesn’t have separate but equal water fountains to dismantle, and it has even fewer laws to pass or overturn. It’s a fight that challenges us to uphold the principles that are the fabric of what American strives to be.
This battle requires us to acknowledge that we are different, to embrace those differences and to treat each other with human dignity.
On Tuesday, March 20, Davidson College President Carol Quillen discussed this new challenge during her keynote address at A Woman’s Place, hosted by Levine Museum of the New South at ImaginOn. Quillen’s talk was part of the celebration honoring Rabbi Judy Schindler as the 2011 Charlotte Woman of the Year.
During the program, Crisis Assistance Ministries executive director Carol Hardison highlighted Schindler’s steadfast efforts to make Charlotte a more humane city. She recalled Schindler’s efforts to help Hurricane Katrina victims. Hardison noted Schindler’s creation of the “Souls...” documentary series which advocates for students, teachers and affordable housing. Hardison talked about Schindler’s decision to step into the fray over same-sex marriage by marrying seven couples in Washington last year.
Here are stories that caught our eye recently...
In the past two years, nearly 70 homeless families in Charlotte have been able to leave overcrowded shelters and step into fully furnished homes, courtesy of a partnership of nonprofits and government agencies. Much of the credit goes to a volunteer group of 75 women from St. Gabriel and St. Matthew Catholic churches.
The Democratic National Convention announced that it plans to spend at least one-third of its money with businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the gay community. The efforts include an online vendor directory to help local businesses land work during the DNC.
The Critical Need Response Fund began as a one-winter-only effort to help charities swamped by needy people. But it’s burgeoned into its fourth year, raising money for nonprofits that provide food, clothing shelter and warmth. The United Way, which took over the program in 2010, predicts this year's campaign will raise $100,000 to $300,000 for those in need.
Voices of Love is one of many gospel choirs in the Charlotte region. But what makes this choir unusual is that most of its members are homeless. A core group practices each week at Charlotte’s Urban Ministry Center.
Tim Alden Grant, Emilia Fuentes Grant, Adam Hobbs, and a whole cast of other locals, produced the Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage video for Soomo Publishing. The video, which premiered recently to coincide with National Women’s Day, pays homage to Alice Paul and the generations of brave women who joined together in the fight to pass the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote in 1920.
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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