The Time is Now! Support the Black Upward Mobility & Restorative Justice Resolution for the City of Charlotte

In Home, Racial Justice, Restorative Justice, Social Change, Social Justice by Judy Schindler4 Comments

This month marks our one year anniversary in working for restorative justice in Charlotte as a Greenspon Center.  On August 10, 2020, a Charlotte Black Upward Mobility & Restorative Justice Resolution will be on the City Council meeting agenda. Please save the time and date on your calendar (5:00 pm on August 10th). Since COVID-19 prevents us from filling the seats of the Government Center chambers, plan on joining our Stan Greenspon Center and Restorative Justice CLT Facebook watch party and showing our City Council representatives that we are watching their meeting and care passionately about restorative justice for our city. Here’s the resolution that will be discussed:

Charlotte Black Upward Mobility & Restorative Justice Resolution

Whereas Charlotte is a tale of two cities; a city of prosperity for some and a city of abject poverty for
others; and where upward mobility and the accumulation of wealth in the Black community in
Charlotte for centuries was decimated due to slavery, discrimination against free slaves,
Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, racist hiring, firing, and promotion policies in the work place,
redlining by financial institutions, restrictive covenants, and urban renewal policies that decimated
Brooklyn and Second Ward; and

Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic and recent uprisings in response to the death of George Floyd have shined a light on how poverty and health disparities caused by decades of underinvestment and neglect of Charlotte’s Black community have resulted in the needless deaths from COVID-19 of scores of African Americans, who – largely because of institutional racism — suffer disproportionately high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, food insecurity, air pollution impacts, and the trauma caused by living in low income Black communities; and

Whereas Charlotte is a leader in economic development in the South, is the headquarters for Bank of
America and a hub of the financial services industry, and one of America’s most prosperous and
affluent cities, yet Black residents have not shared proportionately in rising incomes, and Black
children go hungry and homeless every day; and

Whereas statistics empirically show that deeply rooted structural barriers to upward mobility, such as
low paying jobs, a discriminatory criminal justice system, dilapidated housing, poor public schools,
lack of high quality and affordable preschool and child care, poor access to health care, lack of
mentoring and after school enrichment programs, lack of reliable transportation to and from
employment, and emotional trauma have a disproportionate impact on upward mobility and the
accumulation of wealth among People of Color; and

Whereas in the post-war years, the thriving Second Ward was populated by Black residents, many owning comfortable homes, forming Charlotte’s very own Black Wall Street; and in 1958, the Charlotte City Council voted to demolish the community of Brooklyn in Second Ward, crippling a major part of the city’s Black economy, and adversely impacting the upward mobility and accumulation of wealth by Black people in Charlotte; and the state of NC and the City of Charlotte have a historical legacy of not prioritizing or investing sufficient resources in low-income Black neighborhoods and communities; and Whereas between 1960 and 1967 during urban renewal, Brooklyn was razed in five stages, during which the community had no say in the plans for their neighborhood; 1,007 families, totaling nearly 10,000 residents, were displaced to the periphery of the city; and 216 Black businesses and eleven Black churches were closed; and

Whereas a 2014 study by researchers at Harvard University and UC Berkeley ranked the Charlotte area 50th out of 50 cities for economic mobility, meaning the probability that a child born to the bottom fifth of incomes will rise to the top fifth in her lifetime is just 4.4%; and

Whereas much needed healing, recovery, transformation, and justice in America will require deep
reckoning and systemic changes in race relations and upward mobility for Black people;

Therefore, Be It Resolved that:
The City Council of Charlotte, in an effort to heal and transform our city, apologizes and
acknowledges the tragic past mistake of the City Government’s support of Charlotte’s urban renewal
policies in the 1960’s that destroyed Black wealth and impeded upward mobility;

The City of Charlotte embraces the concept of restitution and restoration for Blacks in Charlotte,
adopts the goal of being number one in upward mobility, and will create a “Mecklenburg Investment &
Trust for Black Upward Mobility” as a public/private partnership fund to provide access to capital to
create restorative measures in six areas of harm: business, education, trauma/mental health, reentry
from incarceration, and housing (land ownership, anti-displacement, affordable housing). The City will
also support the re-growth of Black businesses in Second Ward.;

The City of Charlotte will work with Mecklenburg County to create a community based COVID-19
testing program for all-low income Blacks, and implement a zero tolerance policy for evictions, utility,
cable, and water cut-offs during the time of COVID-19 for Black people;

The City of Charlotte will work with the Charlotte Mecklenburg School Superintendent and Board to
create a mandatory African American/racial diversity curriculum for public schools with a focus on
Black literature, history, culture, political science, music, and the arts for a more authentic telling of
American history, and seek to re-establish a Second Ward High School;
The City of Charlotte will work with leaders in the Black community to accomplish (without
limitation) the following:
-securing local, state, federal, and/or private sector funding to support this Plan;
-improving the quality of public schools and including a job training curriculum;
-developing a jobs-for-all training and job placement program, including green jobs, for all job seekers
in the private and public sectors;
-providing tuition-free community college, trade school, or technical training for all low-income
African American students;
-developing 100% subsidized high quality child care, pre-school, and mentoring programs for all lowincome
African Americans;
-building world class recreational centers in Black neighborhoods with computer training, sports,
mentoring, and after school learning and enrichment programs;

The City of Charlotte will continue to invest in affordable housing, following a Housing First Policy,
including scattered site public housing, supportive housing with wrap around services, and units that
are located in high employment corridors with access to public transportation. The City will adopt a
goal of ending homelessness and will provide incentives to include housing for those at 30% AMI and
below, including in the re-development of Second Ward;

The City of Charlotte will support low cost and accessible mental health programs and health care
facilities and clinics in low-income Black neighborhoods;

The City of Charlotte will advocate for a minimum wage of $15 per hour for all public and private
sector employees;

The City of Charlotte will advocate for a justice system that prioritizes restorative justice, eliminates
cash bail, funds recidivism reduction programs, passes Ban-the-box legislation, provides mass
incarceration prevention programs, and expands non-profit Legal Aid Society offices to provide
reduced and/or free services to low-income African American residents.

The City of Charlotte will seek continued community input to rectify past harm to the Black
community and build a future that is prosperous, safe, equitable and just for every resident.

Steps you can take to support this resolution:

To sign on to support the resolution as an individual or on behalf of your organization, click here.

To write your City Council representatives (please share your own one to two sentences on why restorative justice in Charlotte matters to you), click here.

Steps you can take to support the work of restorative justice in your organization and life:

To make a personal commitment and show your support to address and redress the harmful effects of racism towards Black Charlotteans, click here.

To support the work of Restorative Justice in Charlotte with your time, talent or resources, click here and follow RestorativeJustice CLT us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and share our content.

The Stan Greenspon Center supports Restorative Justice CLT with education and advocacy. Stay tuned for our next Restorative Justice Tuesday Teach-In with a Black Business Spotlight on August 11th at noon!



  1. Rabbi Schindler has always exemplified my ideal of a lover of humankind. She lives the caring & kindness all of us should possess.

  2. The time is NOW to aggressively pursue fixing the Wrongs that have impacted us for 401 years.

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