Upcoming at the Forum


As of 5-30-2023

May 31: “Ending Student Pushout,” 6 p.m., free, Gantt Center, 551 S. Tryon St. Register here.

June 2: JamFest, 5-8 p.m., Faith CME Church, 457 Wellingford St.

June 3: Multicultural Small Business Summit sponsored by TD [Toronto Dominion] Bank, 9 a.m.-noon, free, New Science Building, JCSU, 100 Beatties Ford Rd. Register here.

June 3: Omega Psi Phi blood drive, 10 a.m.-2 .m., 3301 Statesville Ave. Appointments available. More info here.

June 5: Third annual Juneteenth flag-raising, 11:30 a.m., Ebenezer Baptist Church, 2020 W. Sugar Creek Rd.

June 8: Community conversation led by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission about commission’s duties, active planning efforts, rezoning process and land use policy; free, 6-7:30 p.m., Mountain Island Library, 4420 Hoyt Calvin Way. Details and registration here. More info here.

June 10: Park & Rec Summer Kickoff Festival, 1-3 p.m., free entry, Naomi Drenan Rec Center, 750 Beal St. More details here.

June 11: Art Auction for Second Chances, noon-5 p.m., Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S. Tryon St.

June 12: Richard Rothstein book signing for “Just Action,” 6:30 p.m., First Baptist Church-West, 1801 Oaklawn Ave. Info & RSVP here.

June 24: Community Outreach Day at FWC Community Development Center, free, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 301 N. Polk St. Pineville.

July 6: Follow-up conversation on ideas to place before Gov. Cooper’s upcoming listening session on what ought to be in an Environmental Justice Executive Order, 6-7:30 p.m. at QC Family Tree, 2916 Parkway Ave. Meeting organized by Catawba Riverkeeper Policy Manager Ryan Carter.

July 15: Indaba on safety on the Beatties Ford Road corridor.

July 15: A Vibe Outside, 3-8 p.m.,1600 W. Trade St.

Aug. 4: Urban League Whitney M. Young, Jr. Gala awards event. Details to come. (Rescheduled from May 19.)

Sept. 19-21: Diamond Tours trip with Dr. Blanche Penn and Petronila Clark for Pigeon Forge and Smoky Mountains Show Trip, $395.

Nov. 27-Dec. 1: Diamond Tours trip with Dr. Blanche Penn and Petronila Clark for The Ark Encounter and Creation Museum near Cincinnati.

Candidates & Elected Officials

Alma Adams 5-24 5-26

Joyce Waddell 5-30

Nonprofits and Governments

NC Administrative Office of the Courts 5-24 5-26

UNCC Urban Institute 5-25

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Announcements Archive

Education & Health


Dr. Alyssa M. Burns and her Accellacare team explained clinical drug trials and their key role in assessing drugs’ usefulness and value in improving quality of life.


Dr Tempest Leake, whose second son has autism, was on a panel discussing a brain impairment that affects each person differently, but often leads to impaired verbal skills.


Four nurses who were pioneers in the desegregation of their profession and local hospitals recall the struggle.


Dr. Monique May commented on foods and cooking methods and how people might eat more heathfully.


Four of the six CMS board members elected from districts discussed what’s on the table, both as they meet and as they huddle one-on-one to find a way forward for children.


Alumni of Mecklenburg’s Black schools gathered to share with younger generations why they think they thrived, despite the racism and inequities that surrounded them.


Mic Alexander trains work groups and individuals on how to read the room and respond appropriately even as stress mounts.


Daisha Wall presented the work of CleanAIRENC to gather the data that can pressure polluters to help make westside neighborhoods healthier places to live.


A longtime observer of North Carolina public policy comments on the key role of public education in action to “alleviate poverty and propel upward mobility.”


The N.C. Supreme Court handed down a decision outlining a path toward ordering new state financing to ensure a sound basic education for all children.


Dr. Victor Mack led a discussion of pre-college programs for youth supported both by UNCC and the 100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte organization.


Raymond ‘Raki’ McGregor is among Charlotte Executive Leadership Council members working inside CMS to improve student outcomes.


Aug. 1 opens application period for annual applications for free- and reduced-price lunches for some CMS families.


CMS is seeking advice on redrawing attendance boundaries for more than a dozen schools effective in fall 2023.


Jared Keaton, CEO of Alliance Center for Education, outlined how the former Bethlehem Center is shaping Charlotte’s future.


CMS CTE Director Susan Gann-Carroll outlined successes and challenges in offering all teens a way to find a niche for their skills and interests in the post-secondary world.


The plan for the next school bond issue: Will it get the attention it deserves?


Shamaiye Haynes, left, and Men Tchaas Ari presented the Community Learning Centers concept being pursued by their respective organizations.


Forum participants discuss the future of CMS, in light of school board’s decision to fire Supt. Earnest Winston.


A permanent program to subsidize Internet access fees is now available to low-income households.

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Education & Health

Community & Housing


Ray High, left, is spearheading plans for a 2024 Charlotte Black Creative Arts Festival.


Jamese Ivy led a United Way update focused on upcoming deadlines for grant applications.


Sherri Chisholm and other staff from Leading on Opportunity returned to the Forum with an update on their work in the shadow of Raj Chetty’s “50th of 50” study on social mobility.


Chrystal Joy and Toni Tupponce from Lee Institute, working for county commissioners, listened for views on the impact on neighborhoods from large investor groups’ ownership of single-family homes.


Copeland Barbee and others from the Center for Digital Equity explained how a multi-partner project is putting laptops in the hands of people who need them, then training them through the move into the digital age.


Steve Crump, the veteran television journalist and documentarian, shared with the Forum his latest effort: “Andrew Young’s Datelines of Protest.”


Sandra Cummings, left, and three other women shared their experiences as trailblazers for other women as they broke into the male-dominated lawyer profession.


Charlene Price-Patterson, left, Debbie Mann Gibbs and Bea Thompson recounted the early years of women in Charlotte television.


Malcomb Coley presented an update on the Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative, and discussed an economic development project using private dollars that has hit roadblocks.


Rep. Adams made a speech on the floor of the U.S. House about Black History Month.


Alesha Brown has hustled into existence a nonprofit focused on meeting seniors’ needs where they are, thereby shoring up fragile minority neighborhoods.


Kathryn Firmin-Sellers led a presentation from United Way about efforts to redirect diminished resources to emerging community needs through emerging community organizations.


Tara Vannoy, left, Ginny Harper and Carlo Battle presented material on financial aid available to families struggling with housing, utility and weatherization costs.


Valaida Fullwood recounted 15 years of the New Generation of African American Philanthropists and listed events planned to mark August’s Black Philanthropy Month.


Long before social media and GoFundMe, Laura McClettie and friends brought their community together through financial support of its endangered institutions.


LaToya Faustin, left, and Marion Pulse outlined a vision of bringing awareness of the trades to young children, when they begin matching their interests with the world of work.


Curt Peters, left, led four other Charlotte media people in looking at the past, present and future of coverage of the Black community.


Charis Blackmon explained the efforts by West Side Charlotte Land Trust to make homes affordabe in west side neighborhoods for the people who have long lived there are but face gentrification pressures.


Ginny Harper led a group presentation about assistance programs available to low-income residents.


Sherri Chisholm explained how Leading on Opportunity focused on a community response to easing barriers to social mobility will fit into the picture.

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Housing, Work, Community

Growing Business


Sherrell Dorsey, once based in Charlotte, has announced the unplugging of “The Plug,” an online chronicler of Blacks in the tech industry.


Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority CFO Anthony Shelborne explains the group’s outreach to area companies for help with venue hospitality.


Traletta Banks, left, was one of four entrepreneurial minds in different economic sectors explaining their challenges, and seeing opportunities to work together.


Frances Hall recounts her struggle to bring training in the construction trades to young people who turn their new skills into gainful employment.


Cheryse Terry shared the story of how life events led her to the successful creation of a new Black-owned coffee shop and gathering place on Beatties Ford Road.


An overview of the Growing Business category.


Book review by Daniel Souleles , left, may offer a routine-stopping opportunity to think about how systems can hurt people.


A study tracks the implications of continuing inequities in entrepreneurial opportunity.


John McDonald created at LaSalle and Beatties Ford a community meeting spot. The building’s new owner is seeking historic status for the site.


Steven Coker was among City of Charlotte staffers describing efforts to include minority-owned firms in city contracting.


Guide published to the 20-some murals along Beatties Ford Road.


Kevin Price, left, led the Durham-based National Institute of Minority Economic Development in a review of their work in a five-state area.


Rachelle Latimer, left, has pursued an entrepreneurial path to success. Her words may be inspiring to those who are committed, driven and hungry.


CEO Teddy McDaniel, left, and COO Dr. Fahnie Shaw discuss how the Urban League is targeting economic gaps and employment opportunities.


Chris Dennis says he listens to the community, hires off the street and in doing so is revitalizing the Beatties Ford Road corridor.


Dr. Shanté Williams described her work as an angel investor and as head of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Black Chamber of Commerce.


Ralphine Caldwell reviews the initial months in the Charlotte work of Local Initiatives Support Corp.


Najah Roberts, chief visionary officer for Crypto Blockchain Plug, believes cryptocurrency will affect everyone, whether or not they invest in Bitcoin or other digital products.


Marvin Kelly described Goodwill Industries’ training and other missions and answered questions.


Michael Norman is using his electrical contractor business to give young people a chance for a steady job.

View the Archives for

Government & Politics


Caleb Theodros was among the speakers as the Forum hosted a community discussion of how Rep. Tricia Cotham’s announced switch to the GOP may alter the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches.


Kristie Puckett-Williams told her story, and the story of hundreds of women incarcerated in North Carolina, who do not receive appropriate care when pregnant.


Faith Triggs, a volunteer with the Vote Yes for City Bonds Committee, led off a discussion of what’s in the Nov. 8 city bond referendum package.


Congresswoman Alma Adams gave an update on work that Congress has been doing, and her efforts to bring factions together to serve the American people.


Community Relations held a virtual session on its Americans With Disabilities Act Transition Plan.


County Tax Assessor Ken Joyner explained how NC law limits action to protect homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods from crushing tax bills.


City Manager Marcus Jones, left, and Mayor Vi Lyles fielded questions from constituents impatient for conditions to improve in underserved westside neighborhoods.


Longtime city and county leader Ella Scarborough has died, the Observer reported.


A report from library staff runs down ways in which racist attitudes and policies have shaped Mecklenburg County.


Alysia Osborne, left, and Interim Planning Director Alyson Craig gave an update on the city’s 2040 Plan.


Court of Superior Court Elisa Chinn-Gary says she has reconsidered, and will file for re-election.


District Court Judge Rickye McKoy-Mitchell announced her retirement effective next September.


Elisa Chinn-Gary, a 20-year veteran of the Mecklenburg courts, won’t seek re-election as Clerk of Superior Court.


A ceremony marked the retirement of Superior Court Judge Donnie Hoover.


Assistance with heating bills available this winter to low-income families.


Sen. Natasha Marcus, head of the Mecklenburg legislative delegation, reviewed successes and challenges in Raleigh.


Hannah Terrell, left, led a discussion of how the library system stays open to serve its users in the community – and nation.


Details on an FCC program offering help with affording broadband services.


Center City Partners is seeking public comment on its 2040 plan.


Chief Public Defender Kevin Tully outlined the work of 60 lawyers and support staff defending Mecklenburg citizens in court.

View the Archives for
Government & Politics

Candidates & Ballots


Nov. 8, 2022 voting results for candidates on the Mecklenburg ballot.


Three candidates for N.C. House seats concluded Forum presentations on the Nov. 8 election.


Six Democrats, five of them incumbents, explained their efforts to advocate for change in the GOP-controlled N.C. House


Four of the eight candidates in contested races for the N.C. Senate answered questions.


Susan Rodriguez-McDowell, D-6, Laura Meier, D-5, and Mark Jerrell, D-4, addressed county challenges ahead.


Carolyn Thompson has served as a judge halfway across North Carolina, but is on the Mecklenburg ballot Nov. 8. Judge candidates and Soil & Water board candidates addressed participants.


Candidates for at-large and two district seats on the Board of County Commissioners addressed participants.


Six candidates running for CMS Board of Education seats to represent Districts 2, 4 and 6 answered questions.


Seven candidates running for CMS Board of Education seats to represent Districts 1, 3 and 5 answered questions.


Election results from the City of Charlotte’s general election for Mayor and Council.


Two of the six candidates in July 26 District City Council contests attended the Forum.


Five at-large City Council candidates focused on ways the Council can tend to unfinished business, particularly on making the city work for people already living here.


Remember the Fourth on July 26, your next opportunity to exercise your vote.


Voting percentages for May 17 primaries in which Mecklenburg voters participated.


Stephanie De Sarachaga-Bilbao, Republican candidate for Charlotte Mayor, addressed Forum and fielded questions.


Candidates made last-week pitches for support from area voters as early voting continues and Primary Day looms May 17.


New ideas for prompting higher voter turnout were few and far between. Older methods were mentioned amid slow early voting.


Six hopefuls are on the May 17 Democratic primary ballot for three contested District Court seats.


Four of fiive Republicans seeking the nod in the GOP May 17 primary for Charlotte City Council At-Large seats answered questions.


The six Democrats in the May 17 primary for City Council at-large seats addressed the Forum and answered questions.

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Candidates & Ballots

Forum & Commentary


Jimmy Carter’s prophetic words from 1979 deserve a re-reading in 2023 America.


The Forum’s website marked Black History Month 2023 with this collection honoring local African Americans who have helped shape that history.


Facilitator WInston Robinson led participants in a discussion of how the Forum might help the community focus on the issues it faces.


Who will lead efforts to solve key community issues instead of just kicking them down the road?


These windows on the 2022 holidays were published in the “Recently at the Forum” space on the front of this website during the Forum’s winter holiday.


Mary Klenz offered a remembrance of educator and mixed-income housing advocate Richard McElrath.


Forum co-founder Sarah Stevenson marked her 97th birthday at the Forum.


Ceretha Sherrill shared personal reflections on the occasion of the upcoming Juneteenth celebration.


DonnaMarie Woodson continues her series, ‘Incredible Black Women You Should Know About,” with Hollywood actress Frederika “Fredi” Washington, who refused to ‘pass’ in 1930s Hollywood.


Clips from May 31 Forum video focus on issues raised by initial use of Quad camera in Cisco Web Kit.


The room where the Forum has met in person since 2016 has had an upgrade since the pandemic lockdown.


Facilitators set May 24 as the date for resumption of in-person Forum meetings.


DonnaMarie Woodson continues her series, ‘Incredible Black Women You Should Know About,” with an essay on NASA astronaut Mae Jemison.


The national Urban League has published “Under Siege: The Plot to Destroy Democracy.”


DonnaMarie Woodson continues her series, ‘Incredible Black Women You Should Know About,” with an essay on Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai.


Longtime Forum participant Tommie Robinson’s 75th birthday will be marked Saturday.


Facilitators met at Belmont Center, agreed that in-person meetings would resume after the May 17 primary election.


DonnaMarie Woodson continues her series, ‘Incredible Black Women You Should Know About,” with an essay on Olympic gold medalist and civil rights activist Wilma Rudolph.


A McKinsey & Company study outlines issues faced by both immigrant and U.S.-born Latinos.


QCityMetro’s 2nd annual ‘Great 28″ list includes Forum co-founder Sarah Stevenson.

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Inside the Forum