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The Voice of the Black Community
School district back to separate and unequal education opportunity?
Post Foundation examines CMS segregation
Published Thursday, March 24, 2016 8:57 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

The Charlotte Post Foundation’s Black Lives Matter Charlotte initiative discussed re-segregation in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.  

Previous community forums have centered on health disparities in Charlotte’s African American community, but Thursday’s meeting at Mt. Moriah Primitive Baptist Church transitioned into education.

“We’re going to do education pretty much the same way [as healthcare],” Charlotte Post Foundation President Gerald Johnson said. “We’re going to have meetings like this to gather information. We’re going to have discussions to talk about the information, and then we’re going to have a decision process to decide what we’re going to do with all of this information in terms of having an action plan to get some things done, based on what we hear from the community.”

Through a series of questions, the foundation asked attendees to consider what the community can do to improve the disparities in education.

“This Black Lives Matter movement is about the calling together of the family—people who care about children, people who care about black children, people who care about black communities,” foundation board member Tiffany Capers said.

“Busing and desegregation are not synonymous,” said Amy Hawn Nelson, director of Social Research at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and director of the Institute for Social Capital. “Segregation is not like the weather—it is not an uncontrollable force.”

In response to the desire for more discussion that the series on health disparities generated, the last 30 minutes served as a question and answer session. It ranged from discussion around the impact of the strength of the community on the strength of the schools and vice versa as asked by Rashaunda Lanier-Jackson.
“I feel like I’m living in the 1950 and ‘60s,” said Lanier-Jackson, who taught in CMS for three years.

Lanier-Jackson who earned a degree in public policy and administration from James Madison University in 2011, said she had trouble finding a job, and started substitute teaching at Ranson Middle School.

“I managed to last from January until June, and then I took the Praxis,” Lanier-Jackson said.

Inspired by her experiences as a teacher, she left CMS and will be attending UNC Chapel Hill in the fall to pursue a master’s degree in city and regional planning.

“Planning is community,” Nelson said. “It’s all connected.”

Next forum: April 28 at Mt. Moriah Primitive Baptist Church 727 West Trade St.

Future topics: crime and upward mobility

Future CMS meetings

April 5 – Public hearing, 2016 capital needs assessment, 6 p.m., Vance High School auditorium.

April 12 – Superintendent work session, 3:30 p.m., Government Center Room 527/528. Closed session, 6 p.m., Government Center Room CH-14. Regular board meeting, 7 p.m., Government Center meeting chamber.

April 14 –  Policy Committee, Government Center, 10:30 a.m., Room 527/528.

April 21 – Closed session, student appeal hearings, 9:30 a.m., Government Center Room 528.

April 26 – Bond Oversight Committee, Auxiliary Services, 11:30 a.m., Main Conference Room. Closed session, 5 p.m., Butler High School Career Development Center. Regular board meeting, 6 p.m. Butler High School Media Center.



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