Read about important Crossroads Charlotte events, information and activities.
When the Bailey Concert Band, a drum corps of nine from the United House of Prayer, made their dramatic entrance at the Graham Heights Spring Festival Block Party, they struck the right beat for the day: perfect synchronization. The group captivated the 150 or so neighbors lining Ennis Avenue, just north of Charlotte's center city, and illustrated the residents' own coordinated efforts to create a successful community event.
The gathering, which was partially funded by a Crossroads Charlotte “Achieving Community Today” (A.C.T.) award, was made possible by the efforts of dozens of volunteers. These volunteers recruited sponsors like Food Lion and other area grocery chains to defray food expenses, set up the borrowed tables and chairs, prepared and served the food, and organized a raffle for gift cards worth up to $725 apiece from Lowe's South End to be used toward purchasing Energy Star Appliances. Even a Charlotte-Mecklenburg policeman stopped by to drop off a box full of coloring books, crayons, bookmarks and Junior Officer stickers for kids. Most important, volunteers spread the word and got the neighborhood to come together.
“It's a close-knit community,” said 54 year-old Ruby Williams, who has lived in Graham Heights since she was 16. She attended the event with her daughter, three granddaughters, and extended family. As the kids decorated the street with colorful chalk drawings and munched on burgers, Williams nodded with approval: “Since they started the neighborhood association, it's improved a whole lot.”
Getting families like Williams' out of their homes to spend time with neighbors of all ages was one of the primary goals of the block party, according to Joe Howarth, a graduate student at UNC-Charlotte, who has been working with the neighborhood since last August. While the Graham Heights Community Association's monthly meetings are well-attended, they generally draw older residents. He hoped the day's gathering would help the association “connect with younger generations.”
- Mayor Anthony Foxx and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Coalition for Housing hosted an Interfaith Summit on affordable housing and homelessness. The event drew more than 300 people Friday to the Park Expo and Conference Center. Those gathered represented almost 100 area churches. The featured speaker was The Rev. Floyd Flake, a former New York congressman and the pastor of Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York who spearheaded a renewal of the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens. According to The Charlotte Observer, the Rev. Flake cautioned the hundreds of elected officials, agency executives and spiritual representatives that they had to put differences aside, act fast and produce clear results. "Nobody wants to climb on a train that's stopped in the middle of the tracks," he said. Click here for Observer photos from the event.
- Affordable Housing and Homlessness were the topic on WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins on Tuesday. Among those interviewed about the state of the homeless and efforts to help: Mike Rizer - Chairman, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Coalition for Housing; Dr. Maria Hanlin - Executive Director, Mecklenburg Ministries; Kelly Lynn - Director of Development at Charlotte Family Housing; and David Levine - Director of Media, Serve Charlotte's Homeless. Click here to listen to the program.
- Sibusiso Monguni led the combined choirs of Mallard Creek High School and his Hlanganani! 2012 Unity Tour Honors Chorus of South Africa for an impromptu performance of a traditional African song and dance at Mallard Creek High Friday. Friendship Missionary Baptist Church is hosting the African students for a month-long visit. The choir performed for the public at Missionary Baptist Church on Beatties Ford Road Monday.
- Most North Carolinians oppose a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages, new poll results show. The amendment will be on the May 8 ballot. The survey found 54% of N.C. residents opposed the constitutional amendment and 38% supported it.
- CLT Blog is hosting "282," a weekly TV news show about hot topics in Charlotte and beyond. Recently, the show featured discussions on the importance of minority voter turnout for the 2012 election with Rod Garvin, who is on the leadership team for the Hip Hop Caucus in Charlotte, and social entrepreneurship with Charles Thomas of Queen City Forward, a nonprofit that helps social entrepreneurs use business strategies to solve social problems.
Do you have an idea that will bring diverse members of Charlotte's population together, but need some funding to make it happen? You may be eligible to receive those funds through Crossroads Charlotte's A.C.T. (Achieving Community Today) Projects!
Candidates submit their ideas via Crossroads Charlotte's Facebook Page. Submissions are reviewed by Crossroads Charlotte and finalists have their ideas voted upon by the Facebook community. The best ideas get up to $500 of funding!
"The A.C.T. Projects were designed as a way to fund small community efforts that connect people across lines of difference," says Crossroads Charlotte Assistant Director Stacey Henderson. "No idea is too small, and this is the perfect opportunity to make a change or impact."
Hundreds of people have already voted on projects throughout the community, and these projects have had a huge impact on those involved. The next round of submissions starts on February 24th - so be ready to tell us about your idea! No formal grant applications are involved! We'll look forward to hearing from you.
For more information you can contact Stacey Henderson at email@example.com or 704.973.4577
West Meck Senior Donavon Dicks won this year’s Pride Global Youth Award, which honors an outstanding Mecklenburg County high school student who has demonstrated global volunteerism, fundraising for worthy causes or mission work. The Pride Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments in the African-American community.
Members of the Occupy Charlotte movement asked the Charlotte City Council last week not to prohibit camping on city property, which would force the protesters to remove their tents and belongings from old City Hall. Council members are considering crowd-control ordinances to prepare for September’s Democratic National Convention, which will likely draw hundreds or thousands of protestors.
A significant cluster of Chinese scientists and their families has migrated to Cabarrus County in the last few years. They've come to work at Dole’s NC Research Campus. They have found their growing numbers helpful in adapting to the area.
Time Out Youth (TOY) has hired a new executive director,Rodney Tucker. Long known for his involvement with the LBGT community, Tucker says he’s optimistic about TOY’s future. Tucker is a native of nearby Oakboro, N.C., and a former employee of the Regional HIV/AIDS Consortium.
The ostensibly non-partisan Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board, now nonetheless in the hands a Democratic majority, is in the throes of selecting a new CMS superintendent. How will the selection play out? For the last two years, no party has held five votes on the nine-member board.
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