Read about important Crossroads Charlotte events, information and activities.
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.
- 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.
Six Greenpeace protesters were arrested after unfurling a sign in front of the Duke Energy Center uptown. They were protesting the company's recently approved rate hikes. The protesters hung a banner that read "Duke Energy: no dirty rate hikes."
Sit at the elbow of a black barber and be enlightened. Charles Randolph-Wright's "Cuttin' Up" is playing at Actor's Theatre. The show runs through Mar. 3 at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays and 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Also at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 26. Tickets are $24 to $29 per person.
Davidson College is protesting a Piedmont Natural Gas pipeline proposed across land the college owns. In a recent letter to state regulators, college officials said they have “significant concerns” about the project. The college also accuses PNG of withholding information about the pipeline, the construction of which should begin in March.
Lindora Richardson was driving Charlotte-Mecklenburg school bus 295 last week when she noticed smoke coming from the engine. The bus then burst into flame. But Richardson helped all the kids get off the bus before anyone was injured. She, this past week, received an award for her heroism from Charlotte Fire Chief Jon Hannan.
Charlotte resident and LGBT activist Scott Bishop will be honored as North Carolina Volunteer of the Year at the Human Rights Campaign's annual gala, held Feb. 25 at the Charlotte Convention Center. The HRC fights for the civil rights of the Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender (LBGT) community. Bishop got involved after writing a $35 check to the cause years ago. "After I sent the money, they kept calling me asking for more, to the point where it was just annoying," Bishop says. "Then a friend dragged me to their annual gala where I watched this emotional video about what they do to further equality, and well, I got it."
One of the keys to effective community advocacy—especially when your passion for a particular cause is hot and overflowing—is to realize that few others share your passion, and to tone it down.
This goes against everyone’s instincts. If you feel strongly that your block needs a sidewalk, your inclination is to picket your city council member’s home around the clock—Occupy Councilman Peacock’s house!—until it gets built.
But that approach hurts more than it helps, said panelists at a Crossroads-sponsored Civic Summer School session Monday.
“Passion will kill your cause,” said Mike Clement, the former corporate communications director at Bank of America and managing director of Strait Insights, an organization and communication strategies firm. In dealing with public officials, he said, understand that “no matter how passionate you are, it’s probably not the most important thing to them. That’s just the reality.”
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