April 24, 2018
Perhaps this is one of the things the Forum does best: bring folks together out of their silos to meet, explain their silos and then, perhaps, go away to contemplate how to knock down the silos.
Educator and longtime Mecklenburg resident Ken Simmons said he had never met Henry Rock, who left New York for Charlotte in 2012. The educator retired from CMS after decades as a principal. He has a vision for how to reach low-income children and is a consistent voice upbraiding CMS for failing to educate those children. Rock, who has a background in media sales and marketing, has focused since arriving in Charlotte on offering tools to would-be entrepreneurs, some of whom are blocked from employment by prison records. Neither man seemed much focused on getting out of his silo. Rock said he would “stay in his lane.”
Perhaps the women will break down the silos.
Kristie Puckett Williams described herself as one of the formerly incarcerated who served time for crimes committed to support drug and alcohol habits she descended into as she dealt with the trauma of being a domestic abuse victim. Her work focuses on victim advocacy and group facilitation for a family violence services provider.
County Commissioner Pat Cotham recounted her determination to call out big companies that deal with the formerly incarcerated by welcoming them as customers but shunning them as employees.
Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt described the efforts by city and county government to open jobs to former inmates.
In the video below, presentations begin at minute 5:46. The Q&A followed at minute 41:25.