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.”
Incoming CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison held a media briefing this morning at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center. Dr. Morrison unveiled his entry plan, which establishes a framework for his first few months on the job. He officially begins his new duties on July 2, but has been visiting Mecklenburg County regularly since being appointed in April. To see Dr. Morrison’s entry plan in full, please visit the CMS website.
It seemed appropriate that Historian Karl Campbell (Appalachian State University, pictured top right) was the last of seven panelists to speak at “Moving Forward Together,” a public discussion on the implications of Amendment One presented by Foundation For The Carolinas* on May 2. He gave context to the upcoming May 8 vote – a constitutional amendment to define marriage between one man and one woman as the only legally recognized form of domestic union in North Carolina – by comparing it to other key democratic moments in North Carolina history that have pitted traditionalists versus modernists. While he expressed doubt that this vote would put an end to the debate on the issue, he urged both sides to fight hard, fight fair and not forget the humanness of this battle.
In fact, Wednesday night's discussion proved to be an excellent example of what a civil debate could look like, even when some participants have diametrically opposed viewpoints. Each panelist focused on a specific aspect of the proposed amendment – ranging from the legislative context of the amendment and its legal ramifications to its potential economic impact on local businesses.
While some speakers presented a neutral perspective, like Chief District Court Judge Lisa Bell, who concluded that it is impossible to say for sure what the legal ramifications of a passed amendment would be on domestic violence cases and child custody battles until such a time when the supreme court would have an opportunity to make a ruling, others were quite specific in their assessments.
"In a devilish stroke of irony -- this is impartial – ” said Russell Robinson, Esq., a caveat that drew laughter from the crowd of 100+ in McGlohon Theatre, “on its main purpose of protecting marriage," a passed amendment would expose it to an intense federal legal battle.
Dan Bishop, Esq., however, argued that there was no precedent that indicated that the proposed legislation would be more susceptible to federal legislation than in other states which have passed similar amendments.
Acclaimed children's book author Kimberly P. Johnson's unique professional and educational background were put to good use when she guest read to groups of preschool aged kids at Thompson Child Development Center on Wednesday, March 21.
The North Carolina native and author of 14 books charmed a room full of eager four-year-olds as part of Thompson Child & Family Focus 16th annual “March Madness for Reading” initiative, a month-long quest to encourage kids to read and discover other literacy activities. Her lively and engaging presentation also attested to her background in Early Childhood Education, Youth Development and Leadership, as well as her 18 years of experience managing boisterous groups as a flight attendant with US Airways.
By mid-March, nearly 9,000 books had been read at school or home during the month of March to the diverse group of 140 kids who attend the Center. The school's ultimate goal is to complete 25,000 books by the end of the month with the aid of volunteer readers. This cheerfully decorated, state-of-the-art facility serves children birth to age 5, including a significant population of children with fragile backgrounds (some of whom have been exposed to domestic violence, substance abuse or poverty) and special learning needs.
Featured Postsview all
Crossroads Charlotte presents four stories based on real data about Charlotte's future and asks the community to Imagine Our Tomorrow and respond to the stories.Imagine
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