Recently at the Forum

Announcements

As of 10-19-2021
The Stevenson Family plans a drop-in to mark Sarah Stevenson’s 96th birthday. The event will be at the Stevenson Apartments, named in her honor, on Tuesday, Oct. 26 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at 1445 Samuel St.
Sister Elloree Erwin explains: “We ask everyone who’s planning to visit, to RSVP no later than SUNDAY Oct, 24th. to this email address, ellorees@gmail.com, or call, 704-398-8399. Please give us the approximate time of your arrival, perhaps within 30 minutes. This will give us a chance to plan for everyone’s visit with her, safely and socially distanced.
“The address is 1445 Samuel St. 28206. It’s at the corner of LaSalle St. and Statesville Ave. Please enter the facility from Statesville Avenue. We’ll assist with parking both in and out…. If you have questions, please call. This will be, truly, a blessing for us and for her to have made it to another milestone.”
Upcoming Events
Oct. 20: CMS Municipal Education Advisory Committee, 11:30 a.m., discussion of Capital Needs Assessment process that will help shape contents of next school construction bond issue. Meeting livestream will be here.
Oct. 21: Public session (virtual), 6-7 p.m., to collect resident suggestions for “how best to reinvigorate” L.C. Coleman Park at 1501 McDonald St., behind Northwest School of the Arts off Beatties Ford Road. Register, map and more information here.
Oct. 23: 26th Annual Adams MadHatters hat auction and luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., LeMeridien Charlotte Hotel North Tower, 555 S. McDowell St. Register here.
Oct. 30: Unveiling of Julius Chambers statue, 10 a.m., Little Sugar Creek Greenway at Torrence Street and Kings Drive. Register here by Oct. 27.
Nov. 6: Ribbon cutting 10 a.m., grand opening 3-6 p.m., movie night until 9, for the city-owned open space to mark “The Ritz,” the last movie theater built in Charlotte exclusively for African Americans, which closed in 1971 and was later demolished. Explanation of funding and objectives for the space, as presented to City Council Aug. 9, is here. RSVP here. For further information, contact Erin Chantry by e-mail.
Nov. 6-14: “One For The Books” event to “say goodbye to the current building and welcome the future together.” Uptown Library.
Nov. 8: Fundraiser and discussion of “rural voter research and strategy to amplify rural voices, Zoom, 7-8 p.m. Register here.
Nov. 23: Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, virtual, 7 p.m.
2022
July 18-23: Diamond Tours trip with Dr. Blanche Penn to the Gulf Coast for casino attractions.
Sept. 12-16: Diamond Tours trip with Dr. Blanche Penn to Cincinnati for Ark Encounter, Creation Museum, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – and a casino.
News & Handouts
Alma Adams 10-15 10-18 10-19
Natasha Marcus 10-15
Joyce Waddell 10-13
Goodwill Industries 10-13 10-19
NC Dept. of Health & Human Services 10-15
New Rural Project 10-16 10-19
UNCC Urban Institute 10-14
Urban League 10-15
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Announcements Archive

Education & Health

10-20-2021

C.W. Williams Community Health Center has relocated medical services to Old Pineville Road while Wilkinson Boulevard building is replaced.

10-19-2021

Dr. Kendra Jason, left, and Dr. Julian Montoro-Rodriguez outlined the support available from a UNCC program aimed at both paid and volunteer caregivers.

9-28-2021

Thomas Osha from Baltimore developer Wexford helped Atrium Health’s Gene Woods explain to county officials their plans for an innovation district on urban renewal land north of Dilworth.

9-28-2021

Supt. Earnest Winston outlined plans under way to help children catch up from pandemic learning loss.

9-21-2021

Stephanie Sneed led a Black Political Caucus Q&A with Supt. Earnest Winston and other CMS officials.

9-21-2021

Read Charlotte’s Munro Richardson leads a discussion on how organizations are collaborating to address reading achievement gaps.

9-3-2021

A “massive community response” is needed to rescue young readers from effects of pandemic, Read Charlotte says.

8-24-2021

Officials from Atrium Health and their real estate development partner, Wexford Science & Technology, shared some initial information about the Wake Forest/Atrium medical school project.

8-20-2021

Land under the future med school was once home to some of the maids and orderlies, pressers and yardmen who helped build the City of Charlotte and nurture the medical colossus named Atrium.

8-17-2021

CMS Board Chair Elyse Dashew and other school board members fielded questions about the upcoming startup of CMS schools.

8-16-2021

Improving middle grade education should focus on the adults, not the schoolhouse grade structures, report says.

8-10-2021

Former CMS Board Chair Arthur Griffin and County Board Chair George Dunlap collaborated on an analysis of Critical Race Theory.

8-3-2021

Gwen Forney, left, spoke about reaching bored children. Others pursued other Covid-related issues at today’s Open Forum.

7-27-2021

Janice Shirley led a group of advocates who are passionate about getting support to people living with AIDS.

7-23-2021

UNC System President Peter Hans reported to his board July 22, and in the report he reflected on the tenure debate surrounding journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.

7-13-2021

In 2 minutes, Arthur Griffin outlines a way forward on three contentious issues facing the CMS Board of Education.

7-8-2021

Mediation has ended the latest dispute between Mecklenburg commissioners and CMS over student outcomes and CMS policies.

6-22-2021

Vivian Stuart, left, and Reggie Singleton discuss the Rosa Parks Farmers Market and The Males Place.

5-23-2021

Retired CMS Supt. Jim Pughsley joins Diorio in critique of CMS leadership.

5-18-2021

Arthur Griffin Jr., left, shared data showing the crisis in education of Black children, and argued that school leaders are evading responsibility for the system’s failures to meet legal requirements.

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Education & Health

Housing, Work, Community

10-12-2021

Center City Partners and Historic West End are trying to mesh their planning visions for overcoming the split caused by I-77 in the 1970s.

10-5-2021

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

9-27-2021

Mecklenburg is making $340 grants available to qualified applicants to help them stay in their homes.

9-14-2021

JCSU Archivist Brandon Lunsford outlined what’s ahead for a long-term project on Black Charlotte neighborhoods.

6-15-2021

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

5-11-2021

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.

4-13-2021

Marcus Bass, left, from NC Black Alliance and Stephanie Sneed from the Black Political Caucus review efforts to activate black voters and create multi-ethnic political action.

3-20-2021

Serita Russell, left, was lead plaintiff in the successful lawsuit over landlord malfeasance at Lake Arbor Apartments.

3-10-2020

April Benson, left, and Patricia Campbell described the upcoming Charlotte Black Film Festival; Paula Riddick collected surveys about hiring a new police chief.

2-25-2020

Emiene Wright, left, and Katrina Louis discussed Westside Connect, a startup media project aimed at westside neighborhoods.

1-7-2020

Susan Woods offered tips on how to create a federally recognized nonprofit, and then how to seek funding.

11-12-2019

Winston Robinson, left, and Tera Long led discussion about westside equity and ambulance charges.

7-9-2019

Brandon Lunsford shared Johnson C. Smith University’s interest in becoming an archive for West End Charlotte historical documents.

6-25-2019

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

6-25-2019

Constance Lav Johnson completed part of a presentation on grantwriting and fundraising.

6-18-2019

DeAlva Wilson, left, presented at a session on redevelopment plans for the demolished Eastland Mall site.

6-11-2019

Jessica Davis, left, and James Mitchell helped guide a Forum discussion of the future of the Historic Excelsior Club on Beatties Ford Road.

6-4-2019

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

4-2-2019

Ervin Bryson introduced his Carolina Energy arena football team and invited the public to attend games and get to know the team better.

11-27-2018

Winston Robinson suggests a westside history museum focused on African-Americans’ contributions to Charlotte.

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Housing & Workplace

Commentary

10-1-2021

DonnaMarie Woodson contines her series, ‘Incredible Black Women You Should Know About,” with an essay on educator Mary Jane Patterson.

9-10-2021

Arthur Griffin displays the pandemic’s role in a longtime erosion of reading skills and asks, where’s the outrage?

9-2-2021

DonnaMarie Woodson opens her series, ‘Incredible Black Women You Should Know About,” with an essay on poet Phillis Wheatley.

6-8-2021

Thelma McKoy taught history to students in schools, and to her Charlotte community through early devotion to Juneteenth celebrations.

4-27-2021

Keith Rivers, left, addressed the Forum about protests following the April 21 death of Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City.

11-1-2020

In the run-up to a contentious election, the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry called on Americans to hold on to hope.

8-1-2020

DonnaMarie shares her awe at a passionate Change Maker who is 9 years old.

7-25-2020

June 25, 2020 A statement to Bishops of the Episcopal Church by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, June 13, 2020.   

6-6-2020

Commentary on the protests following the death in police custody of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

6-25-2019

Dr. Debra C. Smith recounts the development of a publishing project telling the stories of women who served Charlotte during the civil rights era.

5-28-2019

The decision to forgive the man who took his brother’s life set John C Barnett on a course of advocacy.

5-14-2019

Malcolm Graham, left, led a panel discussing ways to move public opinion toward giving all people more protection from gun violence.

5-7-2019

Derek Webber recounted his efforts to keep his company’s Battle of the Bands in Charlotte, only to leave for Houston.

4-30-2019

Lucille Puckett, left, and others raised community issues for discussion at Tuesday’s Forum.

3-19-2019

Debbie Giibbs, left, and Tonya Rivens comment on the early days of local television news broadcasting.

3-12-2019

Jan Valder, left, Martha Alexander, Sara Spencer and Mary Klenz described their efforts to move causes forward, and to support one another.

3-5-2019

Keysha Walker Taylor outlined the investments being made by the African American Community Foundation in Charlotte’s black community.

2-12-2019

Ken Lemon, left, Brittney Johnson and Dedrick Russell explain the work of the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists.

2-6-2019

Jesse Cureton described his life from its beginnings in Southside Homes to the C-suite at Novant Health. Cureton talked about the One Charlotte project, and how Novant is finding ways to support the people left behind in a constantly upscaling city.

2-1-2019

DonnaMarie Woodson reflects on the trailblazing career of Shirley Chisholm.

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Community Matters

Government & Politics

9-7-2021

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

8-31-2021

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

8-6-2021

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

8-4-2021

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

7-20-2021

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

7-13-2021

County Manager Dena Diorio gave an update on COVID, the county’s new budget, the struggle to properly shelter and support people evicted from a tent encampment, and the recasting of all county programs to support equity and justice.

6-29-2021

Dr. Rebecca Tippett, left, presented material on the 2020 Census, and what information will be released in August.

6-8-2021

District Attorney Spencer Merriweather outlines the challenges faced by the local judicial system during Covid.

5-25-2021

Robert Dawkins, left, described how knocking on doors boosted Census accuracy, and how Action NC uses the same tools to influence decisions by government.

5-4-2021

Sheriff Garry McFadden, left, on Covid crisis, Elizabeth City, and how Mecklenburg citizens can support residents returning from custody.

4-27-2021

U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, left, discussed the American Rescue Plan, American Jobs Plan and the Ignite HBCU Excellence Act.

4-20-2021

CMPD Chief Johnny Jenning’s statement following the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial in the death of George Floyd.

4-20-2021

CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings, left, and Jonathan Chow discussed policing and safety in Charlotte.

3-16-2021

City Council member Malcolm Graham, left and Corridors of Opportunity Project Manager Cherie Smith give an update on Beatties Ford Road corridor projects.

3-9-2021

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, left, and County Board Chair George Dunlap addressed homeless, Covid-19 issues and answered questions.

1-11-2021

James Mitchell says he will resign from Charlotte City Council due to his upcoming part ownership of Leeper Construction.

9-18-2020

CATS has provided maps for proposed alternate routes for construction of the Silver Line light rail line from Gaston County to Matthews with a possible extension into Union County.

12-3-2019

Taiwo Jaiyeoba described his efforts to reorient multiple streams of planning documents into a single comprehensive plan to guide the future of Charlotte’s growth.

11-19-2019

George Grandy, left, and Robert Dawkins focused on how the formal U.S. Census process and grassroots efforts are linking up to encourage participation.

10-15-2019

Veteran Democratic strategist Sam Spencer explained his opposition to the ballot referendum on increasing the Mecklenburg sales tax to fund arts, parks and education.

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Government & Politics

Candidates & Ballots

9-29-2021

Arthur Griffin Jr. announced to the Forum his candidacy for county commissioner at-large.

9-14-2021

Jennifer De La Jara announced to the Forum her candidacy for at-large county commissioner.

11-4-2020

A compilation of notes from Election 2020 candidates.

11-3-2020

Results from the Nov. 3, 2020 general elections for offices in which Mecklenburg votes.

9-25-2020

Forum participants reflect on why they vote, for this series leading up to Election 2020.

3-3-2020

Preliminary results from the March 3, 2020 party primaries for offices in which Mecklenburg votes.

2-18-2020

Democrat Cynthia Wallace addressed the Forum on her primary contest for the 9th District Congress seat.

2-11-2020

Judge Aretha Blake’s statements on a Feb. 6 media report about cases in her courtroom.

2-11-2020

Cal Cunningham, left, and Trevor Fuller offered comments on the five-way Democratic primary contest March 3 for the U.S. Senate seat held by Thom Tillis.

2-4-2020

George Dunlap, left, and three other candidates in the March 3 primary discussed county and court issues.

1-28-2020

Rev. Brenda Stevenson (pictured), N.C. Sen. Mujtaba Mohammed and N.C. Rep. Becky Carney discussed mostly legislative challenges facing the state.

1-21-2020

Seven of the eight Democrats in the March 3 primary for 3 county commissioner slots on the November ballot spoke.

1-14-2020

Laura Anthony, left, and Jonathan Peebles are running for legislative seats in the March primary.

1-8-2020

A challenge to Darrell Bonapart’s candidacy in the N.C. Senate 39 Democratic primary was upheld by the Mecklenburg Board of Elections

11-5-2019

Election-night preliminary results from the Nov. 5 election.

10-22-2019

Vi Lyles explained her candidacy for re-election as Charlotte mayor, and spoke of a number of things she’s learned in her first term.

10-15-2019

Republican Joshua Richardson, left, and incumbent Democrats Dimple Ajmera, Julie Eiselt, James Mitchell and Braxton Winston addressed the Forum.

10-8-2019

Brandon Pierce, left, and other candidates for City Council Districts 2, 4 and 6 presented.

9-24-2019

Annette Albright, left and Elyse Dashew presented at the second Forum on CMS Board of Education candidates.

9-17-2019

Who will guide the education of these children? First of two sessions with CMS school board candidates. (CMS photo)

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Candidates & Ballots

Inside the Forum

10-18-2021

Sarah Stevenson’s family plans a drop-in to mark her 96th birthday.

10-13-2021

Sarah Stevenson joined her friends at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on Sept. 19.

6-13-2021

For 40-plus years, the Forum met face-to-face. Then came COVID-19. An update on the path forward.

5-5-2021

Isaac Applewhite, a longtime county parks executive and Forum participant, has died.

4-22-2021

Hugs were allowed today as Natheley McElrath and Elloree Erwin visited Sarah Stevenson.

12-17-2020

Sarah Stevenson update: Visitations are now severely limited by virus outbreak, Elloree Erwin reports.

11-12-2020

In-facility visits are being scheduled with Sarah Stevenson, sister Elloree Erwin says.

11-1-2020

Updates from Elloree Erwin on Sarah Stevenson and the family’s plans for legacy projects.

10-26-2020

Well-wishers took a 95th birthday celebration to Sarah Stevenson via a drive-thru in University City.

10-23-2020

Elloree Erwin offers driving instructions for the Oct. 26 birthday drive-by for Sarah Stevenson.

10-9-2020

A drive-by will be held Oct. 26 to wish Sarah Stevenson a Happy 95th birthday.

10-4-2020

Artist Tommie Robinson’s 50-year career profiled in the Charlotte Observer.

9-26-2020

Dr. Gyasi Foluke, an outspoken advocate for African-Americans and longtime student of African history, has died.

9-21-2020

An update from Elloree Erwin about Forum co-founder Sarah Stevenson.

9-16-2020

U.S. Rep. Alma Adams honored Sarah Stevenson in a floor speech in the U.S. House.

9-15-2020

In a proclamation signed by Chairman George Dunlap, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners declared ‘Ms. Sarah Mingo Stevenson Day.’

9-14-2020

An update from Elloree Erwin about Forum co-founder Sarah Stevenson.

9-2-2020

An update on Sarah Stevenson, from her sister Elloree.

3-18-2020

Richard McElrath, veteran teacher, CMS board member and Forum participant, has died.

3-17-2020

Forum meetings canceled through end of March, with review on or about March 31.

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Inside the Forum