Arts and Entertainment
|To have and to hold, with social mobility in Charlotte|
|OWN’s reality program looks to help community|
|Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019 10:38 am|
|PHOTO | ASHLEY MAHONEY|
|The cast of OWN’s reality show “To Have and To Hold: Charlotte.”|
Life offscreen continues for the cast of reality television show “To Have and To Hold: Charlotte.”
The latest addition to the Oprah Winfrey Network, which premiered earlier this month, highlights five Charlotte couples as they navigate married life. While onscreen action may not highlight their philanthropic work, the couples intend to use their elevated platforms to continue pouring into the community.
“There are a lot of people coming into Charlotte, because Charlotte is such a poppin’ place,” cast member Ursula Douglas said. “We want to make sure that as a cast that we are contributing to the development of our youth in our community so that they are a part of the growth of Charlotte, because often times what’s missed in communities where there’s a lot of gentrification and there’s a lot of growth and outside people come in, we want to make sure that the kids who are in the Charlotte school systems are ready to be a part of the growth of Charlotte, and our cast will commit to that too.”
Douglas, a nurse practitioner, is former program director for Nurse-Family Partnership.
“We’re doing work in this community on social mobility,” Douglas said. “I’ve been a program director for a program aimed to break the cycle of poverty for first-time, low-income mothers.”
Douglas noted that while the show represents entrepreneurs, attorneys and more, it also represents a larger community.
“We represent people who are not necessarily just affluent and wealthy, but real people with real issues, who climbed through the trenches, and have realized real social mobility, because of the impact and contribution of community. We plan on paying that forward.”
Her husband, Clinton Douglas, and fellow cast member David Hands are members of 100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte, an organization designed to mentor and nurture young people in the community.
“We all in some aspect or another have contributed to trying to push the culture forward,” Clinton Douglas said. “Even though it’s not covered so much in the show, in the background, we are doing our parts.”
Said cast member Yandrick Paraison: “When [viewers] visit our social media, they see that we’re doing different things. We may not have creative control over the show, but we have creative control over our social media, and they can see when they visit us that we’re doing other things that are really community involved.”
It’s about setting an example for the next generation for this cast.
“We want to serve as role models,” said cast member Christine Pulley. “We all are professionals in our own right—that goes a long way too. Like Clint said, somehow we are all involved in the community. While that may not show exactly on television, people who know us, people who know us in Charlotte, know what we represent, and know what we’re part of. That goes a long way too.”
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