Nov. 28, 2023
Few Forum meetings produce as much truth-telling and candor as this morning’s. Few provide as many pieces of wisdom that many Charlotte residents might rather not hear. Few provide a more layered, informed and grounded primer in how to help Charlotteans in need. Needless to say, only very hard work yields success.
If you have influence over how a Charlotte business or other corporate citizen commits its charitable dollars, take a listen. If you do business with one of those corporate citizens, consider how you might advocate for change in attitudes in the businesses you support.
If Tuesday’s speakers are right, the work begins not in a checkbook, but in personal commitments to an ongoing – sometimes years-long – relationship that builds trust. Money is essential, and the limited support you will hear about in the video is testament to the need to help Charlotte set aside its anguish about being 50th in upward social mobility and get about the business of making Charlotte a place where all residents are thriving.
The seeds of Jessica Leflowitz’s Hearts for the Invisible Charlotte Coalition took root after she was laid off as the COVID-19 lockdown began, and she started talking to, and “being with” the residents of the tent city that sprang up just north of Uptown.
Judith Brown’s Project 70Forward is informed by her successful struggle to overcome disabling medical problems and to help her own two autistic children succeed.
The work discussed this morning takes personal commitment. Both leaders had years when they took no salary from their organizations, in order to have the funds to help clients find a meal, pay the rent – do the things every person needs regularly or daily but that many grants will not give money for. How many members of the Tryon Street CEO/CFO/CIO Club can say they donated their salary to meet the needs of the people of their city?
Below the video are five handouts that Brown brought to the Forum. They may be downloaded in a single PDF here.
– Steve Johnston