Social Justice

Local Artists Come Together to Share Experiences and Take Action Through the Diversity On & Off Stage Initiative

September 11, 2020

In recent months, as the pandemic has ravaged on and the Black Lives Matter protests have risen up across the country in response to a series of horrendous events, including the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, there has been a wider sense of outrage, awareness and urgency in many communities to confront systems of power and racial injustice. This reckoning has affected many industries, including entertainment.

From Broadway to Hollywood to arts organizations across the country, artists are speaking out about longtime injustices, lack of representation and equity in their fields. In Charlotte, artists are coming together to share their experiences and take action through the Diversity On & Off Stage initiative.

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Why We Shouldn’t Teach Our Kids to Be Color Blind

2019 BRONZE AWARD WINNER – News Feature, Parenting Media Association (PMA) Awards

August 27, 2018

For many people, race is a topic that’s difficult to discuss, especially with kids. Avoidance, however, has complicated rather than improved our relationships with one another. In recent years, America has been rocked by the rising frequency of racially motivated hate crimes, deadly incidents of racial profiling, a resurgence of resegregated schools and daily reminders of inequity. 

While families of color often feel compelled to have “the talk” about racial bias with their children for safety’s sake, too often white families are silent. One reason may be they don’t know how to start the conversation. Here’s a look at how we all can begin having fact-based, healthy conversations about race to promote understanding and positive change in our community.

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Why We Need Diversity in Charlotte Schools

June 2, 2016

There is a crisis going on in our community. To ignore it is irresponsible, short-sighted and unjust. A growing body of research shows when students are separated based on socio-economic or racial groups, educational opportunities suffer. The burden is heaviest for students in poverty and disproportionately affects students of color, but they are not the only casualties. In its current re-segregated state, public education fails all of our children.

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The Quest To Bring Theatre Arts Back To West Charlotte High School

April 25, 2018

When West Charlotte High School students stepped on stage this spring, it was no ordinary performance. This was the first time in thirteen years the school mounted a full musical production.

With talent and passion, the students presented IN THE HEIGHTS (an early hit by HAMILTON composer/lyricist Lin Manuel Miranda). The performers gave it everything they had—dancing, singing, and interpreting the story.

“You learn a lot about yourself in the production,” says junior Miyoni Heard, one of the performers. “When you can work together, it’s magical.”

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The Truth about the “A” Word

May 2013

When you visit Phillips Place near SouthPark, you’re bound to notice its luxurious appeal. Cafes and shops buzz with young professionals, stylish moms, and well-heeled retirees. And right in the midst of this thriving community is something totally unexpected: affordable housing.

You would never guess it’s there – next to the new Whole Foods – because it blends in with the other elegant residential buildings. Welcome to today’s affordable housing: well-designed, carefully landscaped, and indistinguishable from other market rate communities.

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The Power of Poetry

Spring 2018

For Terry Creech and the young people he coaches, poetry isn’t a bunch of pretty words from a bygone era: it’s contemporary, competitive, and life-changing. As Executive Director of breatheINK Youth Poetry Initiative, Creech works with local teens to develop their skills and confidence as spoken word poets.

“I love poetry and I love sports, and Slam is basically the sport of poetry,” says Creech, who also founded SlamCharlotte, an organization for adult poets that has won two national championships. Creech and breatheINK have played an integral role in promoting performance poetry in the Carolinas, through school and community workshops.

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