As of 6-11-2024

Mecklenburg County announced that beginning July 1, the Mecklenburg Transportation System will no longer take seniors and disabled residents to government or nonprofit organizations; hair salons and barber shops; financial institutions; faith-based organizations; and fitness centers. Details and a list of informational meetings here.

Upcoming Events

June 13-16: Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas. Schedule here. VIP luncheon details here.

June 15: Juneteenth Uptown Block Party, 3-7 p.m., Levine Avenue of the Arts.

June 15: MeckMIN’s “Trauma awareness and resilience: Breaking Cycles,” 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Sardis Baptist Church, 5811 Sardis Rd. Register and fee info here.

June 16, June 30, July 14: “Dinner and Dialog” on the book, “Our Trespasses: White Churches and the Taking of American Neighborhoods” by Greg Jarrell, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Holy Comforter Episcopal, 2701 Park Rd. Register at underlined links above.

June 18: MeckMin Open Table potluck dinner and conversation, from 6:30 p.m., or 6 p.m. for a service project, Trinity Presbyterian Church. Register here.

June 22: New North Carolina Project’s Pancakes & Politics, 11 a.m.-1:15 p.m., Sugar Creek Library, 4045 N. Tryon St.

June 24-27: Diamond Tours trip with Dr. Blanche Penn and Tonia Cherry to Amelia Island, St. Augustine and Jacksonville, Fla., $480.

June 27: Community meeting on Second Ward High School, to review plans for new construction on the site in Brooklyn. 6-8 p.m., West Charlotte High School, 2219 Senior Dr.

June 29: Deltas’ Celebration of the Arts Scholarship Gala, 6-11 p.m., Méredien Charlotte, 555 S. McDowell St. Tickets $125-$175 here.

July 27: New North Carolina Project’s Pancakes & Politics, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Allegra Westbrooks Regional Library, 2412 Beatties Ford Rd.

July 29-Aug. 3: Diamond Tours trip with Dr. Blanche Penn and Petronila Clark to Memphis, $765.

June 30, July 14: “Dinner and Dialog” on the book, “Our Trespasses: White Churches and the Taking of American Neighborhoods” by Greg Jarrell, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Holy Comforter Episcopal, 2701 Park Rd. Register at underlined links above.

July 14: “Dinner and Dialog” on the book, “Our Trespasses: White Churches and the Taking of American Neighborhoods” by Greg Jarrell, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Holy Comforter Episcopal, 2701 Park Rd. Register at underlined link above.

Aug. 6: National Night Out at Hidden Valley, with Charlotte Symphony presentation honoring “the lost souls of law enforcement,” from 5:30 p.m., Tom Hunter Park.

Aug. 10-11: MeckMIN Interfaith Youth Summit, for middle and high school students. Register and fee info here.

Aug. 10: 10th Annual Back to School Community Health Fair, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., free, C.W. Williams Community Health Center, 3333 Wilkinson Blvd. More info here.

Aug. 10: New North Carolina Project’s Pancakes & Politics, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., West Boulevard Library, 2157 West Blvd.

Sept. 21: “Empower, Engage, Elevate: Community Voices in Action,” a Delta Sigma Theta “social action conference focused on issues facing the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County community,” 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 3400 Beatties Ford Rd.

Sept. 21: Lake Norman Empowerment Festival, Smithville Park, 19710 S Ferry St, Cornelius.

Oct. 14-16: Diamond Tours trip with Dr. Blanche Penn and Venitra White-Dean to Charleston, $480.

Nov. 1: Center for Community Transitions fundraising gala, 6 p.m.

Candidates, Elected Officials, Etc.

Natasha Marcus 6-13

Joyce Waddell 6-11

Governments, Nonprofits, etc

Goodwill Industries 6-11 6-12

Knight Foundation 6-11

Obama Foundation 6-12

Organizations’ Event Calendars

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Alpha Lambda Omega Chapter

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Charlotte Alumnae Chapter

Gantt Center

League of Women Voters

Women’s Business Center of Charlotte

View the
Announcements Archive

Education & Health


Six presenters outlined services available for aging adults and those with mental health challenges.


Goodwill Industries looks back on 2023 with data, stories about participants trained or supported, and sets an ambitious goal for 2024.


UNCC is holding one-week programs in summer 2024 for area teens in a variety of STEM-related subjects.


Kieth Cockrell, left, and Malcomb Coley explored issues that executives on loan to CMS are tackling.


As a teen, Robin Price first observed a woman’s anxiety during childbirth when trying to support a good friend. Today, her business as a doula has taught her what women need to stay focused on health, and joyful in giving birth.


There’s help for those lost in the labyrinth called Health Insurance Coverage. Deadlines in both Medicare and Obamacare programs are looming.


Varnell Bien-Aime discusses his work with Reggie Singleton at The Males Place, a 30-year project to help guide teenaged boys toward a healthy and responsible adulthood.


A panel of school bond advocates and CMS’s top facilities planner fielded questions about the bond campaign, its potential to hasten gentrification, and whether there is buy-in from all governmental and other units to reverse the economic decline of westside neighborhoods.


CMS Superintendent Dr. Crystal L. Hill began with the family that shaped her, made a case that students are making up for lost time during the pandemic, and expressed a commitment to be the communicator-in-chief with the school district’s multiple constituencies that she will serve.


Sharon Geter, left, and Elizabeth Colen shared details of barriers they have faced in reaching their business objectives.


Longtime CMS observer Bolyn McClung offers state data illustrating persistent achievement gaps between schools.


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.”

View the Archives for
Education & Health

Community & Housing


Housing issues – afforability, availability, etc. – were on the table this morning


Jamses Ivy outlined United Way grant deadlines, then featured three women whose groups are putting such support to community use.


Donna Reed was a finalist in Nexstar Media Group’s Remarkable Women presentation.


Winston Robinson recounted Applesauce Group’s events designed to open doors to residents in underserved neighborhoods.


More than 400 Mecklenburg children are in foster care. Three people whose organizations help these children described complex issues the children face, the need for foster parents, and the way many of the children face homelessness on their 18th birthday.


Greg Jackson tells of his journey from Bronx drug dealer to fund-raiser and leader of what he calls a “revolution” to rebuild Black community viability in Charlotte for the homeless families finding at his Heal Charlotte the wraparound services they need.


Bertha Maxwell-Roddey, co-founder of the Afro American Cultural and Service Center, later renamed in honor of Harvey Gantt, has died.


Residents have been invited to take part in telling the 250-year history of Mecklenburg County.


Ratasha Smith, advocacy co-chair of the Urban League Young Professionals group, explained some of the group’s work to encourage participation in community affairs.


Jessica Lefkowitz, left, and Judith Brown have built small organizations doing big work with disability and homeless populations.


Three panelists lay out programs available to low-income households to assist with tax bills, energy expenses and renovation projects.


Robyn Lake Hamilton, named interim leader of the Central Carolinas Urban League last winter, laid out an agenda for the group that is both new and steeped in the national group’s history.


Valaida Fullwood announced Black Philanthropy Month and some events connected with that celebration.


Rachel Zwipf from Pottstown Heritage Group recounted efforts to stabilize and protect Huntersville’s historically Black neighborhood and its mostly senior residents from gentrification.


Shannon Burns, left, Laura Belcher and Julie Porter outlined issues behind the difficulty of building, financing and finding affordable housing in Charlotte.


Dennis Miller, left, and Travis Sheridan offered an update from developer Wexford Science & Technology on construction under way for Charlotte’s first medical school.


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.

View the Archives for
Housing, Work, Community

Growing Business


Gerald Johnson led a discussion of how the small family business behind The Charlotte Post has worked on a succession plan to create generational wealth.


Five who weathered the bad times, and good, in the decades of opening up a white male-dominated banking culture.


Carol Lilly, left, and Stephane Joyner have successfully led many a struggling minority business owner through the mine fields awaiting applicants for construction contracts.


Three leaders of businesses discuss revival of the Beatties Ford Road retail corridor.


Daks McClettie Sr. learned the insurance agency trade under the tutelage of two longtime Charlotte agency owners. Retired agent Bob White joined the conversation.


An updated version of the MyFutureNC report has a grim warning about North Carolina’s future.


Carrie Cook discussed some of the work of the Federal Reserve toward financing businesses, consumer protection and community development.


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.

View the Archives for

Government & Politics


Greg Johnson, left, led a presentation about efforts to catalog what residents think the city should do to improve mobility within Charlotte.


City Council member James Mitchell and seven friends in local government and politics explore their shared understanding of what helps nurture community-focused leaders.


Three retired Mecklenburg judges offer insights from their years as traiblazing African-Amercan judges in District and Superior Courts.


The U.S. Justice Department released a report on Minneapolis conditions that contributed to the 2020 murder of George Floyd, and its recommendations for reform.


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.

View the Archives for
Government & Politics

Candidates & Ballots


Michael Dickerson, left, explains what secures your vote on Election Day.


Election results for the March 5, 2024 primary.


Felicia Thompkins faces incumbent George Dunlap and Charles Osborne faces incumbent Vilma Leake in Democratic primaries March 5.


All five Democratic candidates for three at-large County Commissioner seats spoke about Mecklenburg’s challenges amid rapid growth and multiple human services crises.


Forum heard from four of the six candidates in March 5 primaries for House Districts 98 and 106, and Senate District 42.


Dr. Yolanda Holmes and Nicole Sidman made their case for the chance to face Tricia Cotham in redrawn NC House District 105.


Democratic candidates in the March 5 NC Senate 41 primary focused on working across the aisle in a Republican-dominated legislature.


Candidates facing primary challenges on the March 5 Super Tuesday ballot are listed here.


Mecklenburg voting results for school bonds and board and Charlotte city officials.


U.S. Rep. Jeff Jackson vowed that, if elected as the next N.C. Attorney General, he would refocus N.C. law enforcement energies on fentanyl, the poison that is killing North Carolinians and Americans nationwide.


Democrat Tiawana Brown answers questions about the District 3 City Council race on Nov. 7.


The last group of candidates on the Nov. 7 ballot running for three CMS school board seats presented today.


Five of the 14 candidates on the Nov. 7 ballot for three at-large seats on the CMS Board of Education addressed the Forum.


Preliminary results in Charlotte primary election, as reported by the State Board of Elections.


Forum heard from four of the six Democrats involved in City Council primaries for Districts 4 and 5 on Sept. 12.


Tiawana Brown, left, and Warren Turner, two of the three District 3 Council Democratic primary candidates, offered views on the needs of the city and its people.


Robert Dawkins offered a summary of state voting rules applying to the Sept. 12 primary election.


Malcolm Graham, left, defends his District 2 City Council record in session with challenger Gary Young.


Five of six Democrats in the Sept. 12 Democratic primary for four City Council At-Large seats explored their roles in moving the city forward.


Mayor Vi Lyles, a Democrat in the September primary, and Rob Yates, a Libertarian wiith no primary, discussed city growth issues.

View the Archives for
Candidates & Ballots

Forum & Commentary


Failing schools. Tax dollars to billionaires. MWBE. And more. It was an Open Forum.


Dr. Thomas Moore sat down at the piano and created a calming presence in the middle of an ear-splitting fire alarm test.


The NC Black Alliance plans to have Carolinas community activists at the Forum April 30 as part of a training on ways to inform their hometowns about community issues and organize for change.


Gene Carney, husband of longtime Forum participant and N.C. House member Becky Carney, has died.


Short video from the 2023 edition of the Forum’s Christmas Party.


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


Natheley McElrath announces details of the 2023 Forum Christmas Party on Dec. 12.


An Open Forum focused on the concerns that people brought with them: Holding leaders accountable for doinig what they promised; school bonds; rendering restorative justice; reaching youth; bolstering civic knowledge.


Sarah Stevenson, co-founder of the Forum, has died. More information from her funeral and a Celebration of LIfe.


A bit of flora for the Fourth of July holiday period.


Regulars at the Forum, joined by a large Facebook audience, reviewed how a decades-old mainstay of community building can serve younger generations, as well as involve them.


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.

View the Archives for
Inside the Forum