The Stan Greenspon Center kicked off our year of advocacy with our Social Justice Agenda 2021 meeting on March 2nd. Our seven advocacy teams haven’t missed a beat in planning educational programs and in advocating for positive change. If you haven’t yet joined an advocacy team, it is never too late to use your voice to make a difference.
Leader: James Lee
The Affordable Housing Team will be focusing on the Grier Heights Neighborhood and preventing displacement. They are working on three initiatives:
- Repurposing County property for building affordable housing
- Acting as a community liaison and engaging in event planning to connect with our Grier Heights neighbors
- Private Property Potential – Exploring whether current owners might be willing to sell to affordable housing developers
Their next meeting will be on April 14th, 7:00 to 8:15 pm.
Leader: Lindsey Braciale
The Disability Justice Team may have identified a partner to support the legal challenge to the “Not Able” Law that prevents people receiving any disability-related benefits from receiving unemployment. We complied a 158-page document to share with this group and will receive a determination in early April. With this new (potential) ally, we have shifted our focus to creating a campaign to identify other workers with a disability denied unemployment. If you are interested and able to help with this outreach or content generation for the Stan Greenspon Center’s website page, please let Lindsey know firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leaders: Queens Student, Caitlin Roper and Adjunct Professor, Greg Johnson
The Environmental Justice team is planning a virtual campus/community learning symposium exploring the environmental justice implications of the “crescent and wedge” in Charlotte. Our aim is to expand awareness of this dynamic and highlight the good work of two or three non-profits who are undertaking important environmental justice projects. Panelists will include experts on the crescent and the wedge who will help us understand its history and thought leaders who can address the challenges these dynamics post. We will provide an opportunity for a roundtable discussion.
Leaders: Dr. Jessica Schorr Saxe and Dr. Susan Rucker
The Healthcare Justice team will be working on promoting the new Medicare For All Act which was released in Congress in mid-March. We are also working with Commissioner Mark Jerrell on his restorative justice proposal. We have an active communications committee which works on producing short videos that demonstrate the need for Medicare for All.
Leader: Talli Dippold
The Holocaust Education Advocacy Team is exploring the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism and determining whether we should adopt it as a Center and approach local organizations to adopt it, as well. We are also advocating for the North Carolina House Bill 69 Holocaust and Genocide Education.
Leaders: Rabbi Stuart Gershon and Dr. Warren Steinmuller
In coordination with HIAS, the Immigrant Justice AdvocacyTeam is taking part in the HIAS Welcome Campaign. We will welcome our representatives to the 117th Congress and let them know that welcoming the stranger is a value we embrace. Here’s the link to sign on to this Welcome letter to our US Congressional Representative: https://act.hias.org/page/24900/petition/1.
The Immigrant Justice Advocacy Team is also monitoring and responding to anti-immigrant legislation on a state level. We are currently working to oppose SB101 and HB62 that would require local sheriffs to implement federal policy at the behest of ICE. Dr. Maggie Commons of Queens University notes: “The data on immigrants and crime is clear. Crime is lower in immigrant communities. Local law enforcement does not want cooperation with ICE because it makes their job of keeping all of us safe more difficult. For this and other reasons, Sheriff McFadden rescinded the county’s 287(g) agreement with ICE. Under North Carolina law, sheriffs are required to respond to ICE detainers. This is more than sufficient.”
Leader: Rabbi Judy Schindler
The Restorative Justice Advocacy Team is working on advocating for Commissioner Mark Jerrell’s restorative justice proposal. The plan involves the creation of a restorative justice fund that will support five pillars: education, entrepreneurship, workforce development, homeownership and health care. The target population is residents of Mecklenburg County, primarily African American, working families, single parents and young adults.
Save the date for our Restorative Justice Teach-In, Tuesday, April 13th from 6:00 to 7:30 pm.
Join our work – If you’d like to join one or several of our advocacy teams, please click here to sign up or email Karen Mello, email@example.com so that we can get you connected to our work. If you signed up for many groups on March 2nd and want to narrow their interests, you can let Karen know, as well.[Image by Ian Schneider]