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One Year Later

In September 2016 residents of Charlotte found themselves in the national narrative – a police-involved shooting that was the impetus for demonstrations, protests and civil unrest. Charlotte was shocked but should not have been surprised when affected community groups expressed their anger and frustration over issues that had been buried in our ground for way too long. Many could not believe what we were seeing and experiencing in the Queen City. We heard people say, "This is not who we are." But, too many knew that sadly this is exactly who we are – and that what happened affects us all, as our community began to accept the reality of what was happening - and to take steps to address long standing concerns around equity, fairness, inclusion and police/community relations – Community Building Initiative (CBI) and the Community Relations Committee (CRC) served on the front lines as a ready resource as people and organizations responded. We supported the crafting of a “Statement of Commitment” signed by over 2,000 people and created a Dialogue Guide (“Talking Together in Challenging Times”) shared with partners and stakeholders and made available on-line. Deep, enduring relationships allowed our two organizations to be a resource in a time of crisis.

As we approach the anniversary of September 2016, CBI and CRC are once again offering resources to people, organizations and our community. We know there is value in looking back and in looking forward as we prepare to commemorate, observe and continue to learn from what took place last year and what is underway as a result. We are also painfully aware of the turmoil and tensions that erupted in Charlottesville. We have seen demonstrations and rallies in Charlotte and in cities throughout our country in response. We continue in our commitment to confront long-term racial divisions and discrimination, to build a more fair and just community and to support constructive dialogue between allies and across difference to increase understanding, inspire action and promote accountability. We invite you to use these resources for your own “Check In” and let us know how you - and we as a community - are doing.

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY “CHECK IN?”

A friend has likened last September to having a heart attack – catastrophic and surprising though perhaps inevitable because of family history or years of not paying attention to troubling signs. Once we move through the initial trauma of a heart attack, we face the necessity to institute changes. We may adjust our behaviors, improve our diet, embark on an exercise program and take other preventative steps. Periodically, we submit to a “check in” to see how we are doing and what additional actions or adjustments may be needed.

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Remembering September, 2016: One Year Later Additional Resources


CBI Alumni Reflect on Their Experience, One Year Later

The shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, and the protests and uprising that followed, occurred in September of 2016. Yet, in the midst of both the uprising and the turmoil, two members of the Community Building Initiative (CBI) family met in the most unexpected of ways.

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