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November Virtual Luncheon – Community Building Initiative’s Bus Tour: “What’s in the Ground” in our Community
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November Virtual Luncheon – Community Building Initiative’s Bus Tour: “What’s in the Ground” in our Community

November Virtual Luncheon – Community Building Initiative’s Bus Tour: “What’s in the Ground” in our Community

Submitted by Molly Carroll, Trinity Partners

CREW Charlotte’s virtual November luncheon explored “What’s in the Ground” in our community, taking a closer look at the intersection of access, diversity, and inclusion with real estate. The luncheon featured Dr. Tom Hanchett (Community Historian, Levine Museum of the New South, retired) and Annetta Watkins-Foard with CBI (Community Building Initiative) as virtual tour guides.

Tom discussed a broad history of segregation and systemic racism in Charlotte and how it’s shaped Charlotte’s growth and development. Segregation along racial and economic lines was created in the 1800’s and fostered by the government through laws and covenants, continuing through the 1900’s including damaging federally funded urban renewal programs in the 50s and 60s that destroyed Black communities in the urban core of cities across the country.

Things started to shift in with the 1968 Fair Housing Act and 1977 Community Reinvestment Act as the federal government attempted to level the playing field by removing racist and discriminatory policies surrounding homeownership and development.

Our virtual bus tour exemplified what Dr. Hanchett discussed as we learned more about several key Charlotte neighborhoods: Uptown, West Side, East Side, and Central Avenue, and how they’ve evolved over the years and the affect gentrification is having on communities and affordability. One bright spot is “Brightwalk” in the West Side, a thriving mixed-income neighborhood.

For more information, check out the following resources:

Community Building Initiative’s website

Sorting Out the New South City by Dr. Tom Hanchett

Info about Charlotte walking tours, food tips, etc: www.HistorySouth.org

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Color and Character: West Charlotte High and the American Struggle over Educational Equality

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