Oct. 29, 2019
The Forum took time out today to mark the 94th birthday of a woman who co-founded the Forum more than 40 years ago, who helped guide her adopted community through desegregation, and who has inspired generations of Charlotte residents to pick up the mantle of leadership.
Sarah Belle Mingo Stevenson co-founded the Forum with the late Rev. Bob Walton and the late Jim Richardson as an offshoot of the Black Political Caucus. Formed in the years after the city’s adoption of district representation made the election of African-Americans a real possibility, the Forum offered a weekly place where those elected officials could stay in touch with constituents. That key role of linking elected officials and their constituents, and of community-building, remain central experiences of active participation in Forum meetings. The Forum’s meetings were integrated in 1985.
A number of people, including CMS Supt. Earnest Winston, brought greetings to Mrs. Stevenson and reflected on how her life had changed theirs. Some well-wishers spoke into a microphone. Many more spoke directly to Mrs. Stevenson during the event.
Cakes and inpromptu speeches and the singing of two versions of the Happy Birthday song made for a different Forum experience, which is normally dominated by presentations and Q&A sessions. But there were presentations even with the cake.
Dr. Wilhelmenia Rembert made a presentation about the 2020 Census at minute 14: 20
The Forum also heard a video and presentation on the African American Male Wellness Initiative’s 5K Walk/Run on Saturday, Nov. 2 from Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 3400 Beatties Ford. Rd. Info here.