It’s not often that a whole city decides to take a good look at itself. But that's just what civic leaders in Charlotte, N.C. decided to do after a Harvard study ranked that city next to last in interracial trust. The group created a project called Crossroads Charlotte to discuss how organizations in the city could begin to help Charlotte's citizens trust one another more.
In late April, organizations in Charlotte unveiled programs that will work to make the city a better place for all of its residents, according to The Charlotte Observer. More than 35 groups are working on Crossroads projects that will be announced in three waves.
Here are some of the innovative Crossroads programs that have started or will start soon (Reported by The Charlotte Observer):
Arts & Science Council
Will work to increase access to cultural programs by investing in racially and ethnically diverse communities and groups such as Latino arts organizations along the Central Avenue/Albemarle Road corridor.
Central Piedmont Community College and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg public library
Teaming to offer literacy and English as a Second Language classes at library branches.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee
Producing a play about race relations.
Crisis Assistance Ministry
Focusing on increasing the community's awareness of people in poverty.
Johnson C. Smith University
Expanding its Saturday Academy, a program for academically struggling students.
Continuing its Friday Friends program, which asks people of different races to have lunch together regularly.
University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Launching a Crossroads-centered curriculum as part of its general education program for all students. As part of the multiple-course program, students will work on community projects that help foster interracial trust.
Producing a series of documentaries about the history and life of local ethnic communities, and airing the final report of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg African American Agenda, a group trying to find solutions for problems facing the black community.
Charlotte’s estimated population is approximately 610,900, and Nashville’s is 607,400. Wouldn’t it be nice if Nashville could follow Charlotte’s lead and develop a Crossroads Nashville? Who can we call to get such an effort started?