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April 13, 2023 | Faith, Community and Non-Profit Leader Check-In Meeting

Our every other week check-in meeting is open to anyone interested in supporting compassionate community response to our most vulnerable neighbors. Meetings are held online every other Thursday from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Email LeDayne Polaski for Zoom access code. In addition, if you would like to receive notification when these minutes are posted, please email LeDayne and ask to be added to the Thursday meetings email list.

Want to learn more about we do on our calls? Watch this short video clip!


Click HERE to Access Zoom Recording:


In this Issue:


Opening Reflection

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh


1. MeckMIN Updates


Saturday, April 15 all day

Diego Torres | | 704-941-2544

Immigrant Integration Specialist | Latin American Coalition

We’re teaming up with the Latin American Coalition for another resource fair. This is during the CMS Spring Break so we particularly need volunteers who will still be in town. We have volunteer opportunities to help set up on April 14 and and several available shifts throughout the day on April 15. Sign up HERE

Latin American Coalition is hosting a Resource Fair on April 15th from 10:00 to 3:00pm, for families who have recently arrived in the Charlotte area. They are looking for 62 volunteers to help with setting up, take down and various tasks. Some of those tasks include, registration, manning booths, food and clothes distribution, guiding people around the building, crafts with children and more.

English and Spanish speaking volunteers are welcome.

Volunteers can sign up for one or more shifts from the following times. WE ESPECIALLY NEED THIRD SHIFT AND TAKE DOWN VOLUNTEERS. You'll have to click on "more dates" at the top of the page to see these shifts.

· 1st shift Set up 9:00 to 10:00

· 2nd Shift on April 15th 10:00 to 1:00

· 3rd Shift on April 15th 1:00 to 3:00

· Take Down on April 15th 3:00 to 4:00

For any additional questions, contact Diego Torres at

Diego Torres | | 704.941.2544

Immigrant Integration Specialist | Latin American Coalition


Thursday, April 27, 4 to 6 PM | Johnson C. Smith University

If you teach World Religions or a related subject at any level, you're invited to join this gathering. Our goals are simply to get to know one another and to share helpful resources.

Sign up HERE


May 2, 2023 | 7:30 - 9 AM | Covenant Presbyterian Church

This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and your paid ticket supports our work all year to develop understanding, compassionate relationships between people of all faiths, relationships which make possible a robust, coordinated, and effective response to the needs of our community. That said, your attendance means more to us than your gift, and we do understand that many of us are struggling with our finances so we offer tickets on a sliding scale. We hope you'll buy a ticket today and plan to join us. Individual tickets are available here.

We also invite you to join us as an event sponsor. By joining us as a sponsor, you as an individual, congregation, business, or fellow nonprofit can be recognized for supporting our work to foster interfaith cooperation, promote racial and ethnic understanding and address social needs in Mecklenburg County.

Perhaps you are able to step in as the Presenting Sponsor for $5,000. We're happy to say that the two Awards have been sponsored for $3,000 each. Giving at this level will be a HUGE boost to our work and will allow you the opportunity to speak at the event.

  • Volunteers for Set Up May 1, May 1 - Please consider signing up HERE

  • Breakfast Volunteers May 2 - Please consider signing up HERE

  • Table Captains are needed – Please consider signing up HERE

  • Sponsorship opportunities are available HERE

  • Individual tickets are available HERE

For a full list of sponsorship levels and benefits, click HERE

Whatever sponsorship level makes sense for you, you'll be making possible a robust network of interconnected people and communities supporting one another and serving our neighbors together.

Our awardees this year are:

The Sydnor Thompson, Jr. Community Leader award goes to REV. GLENCIE RHEDRICK. The award goes to a local leader or organization that exemplifies leadership and collaboration across differences in the community, fosters interfaith understanding to promote racial and ethnic understanding, and addresses social needs in the community. Reverend Rhedrick, an ordained Baptist minister, currently serves as an associate minister at First Baptist Church-West, where she leads the Bereavement Ministry and facilitates an engaging weekly adult Bible study class. Reverend Rhedrick is a theoactivist womanist, addressing the issues of unjust experiences and biases which intentionally impact women and the communities of African ascent.

A local and national community activist and organizer, Rev. Rhedrick is the former president of Mecklenburg Ministries (now known as MeckMIN). She is also an active member of the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team. Currently, she holds the following positions: Vice President for Mayfield Memorial CDC, Chair of the Social Justice Auxiliary for the United Missionary Baptist Association, Co-Chair for Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice; Vice President and Social Justice Chair for The Charlotte Minister’s Conference, Member of the Board of Directors for the National Jobs for All Coalition, Co-Chair for the John Lewis Voter Motorcade Caravan in Georgia and North Carolina for the Transformative Justice Coalition, Board Member and Secretary for The Reimagining America Project, Chair for Community Outreach Programs for Queen City Ivy & Pearls Foundation, Trainer and Hub Organizer for Arm in Arm, Vice President and Board Member of UMBA Bright Stars, Chair of Connection and Social Justice for Rho Psi Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Chaplain for Queen City Ivy & Pearls Foundation of Rho Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and a Board of Director member for The Red Letter Christians.

Rhedrick continues to answer the questions of how we take care of the community. As she works tirelessly to end involuntary homelessness and low wealth which often contributes to the ills that create the conditions we experience.

The Bridge Builder award goes to BECKY SCHISLER. This award recognizes someone who directly promotes one-on-one relationships and bridge building across differences through their actions and daily life.

Becky Schisler is being honored as the 2023 Bridge Builder for her work as the founder and Executive Director of The Coalition for Cultural Compassion (The CCC), a grassroots nonprofit dedicated to driving change within Charlotte communities. Driven by the belief that compassion must involve action, Becky and The CCC board of directors and program volunteers work daily to carry out their mission which aims to bring diverse groups together through educational and social events to promote empathy and dismantle harmful stereotypes as well as to combat systems of oppression through the redistribution of resources and by promoting awareness and understanding of systemically-rooted inequities.

Since 2018, the organization has grown to include a Multicultural Series for Kids, a Book Club featuring authors of color, Small-group Discussion Meet-ups, an annual Black Santa event, and the ever-growing Compassion Closet program that provides clothing and other essential items to anyone in need within the Charlotte region.

Becky is committed to continued learning and self-improvement so she may lead this organization mindfully, centering the voices and needs of marginalized community



We don’t usually have a food drive in connection with our Awards Breakfast, but the current need in our community is dire and so we’re partnering with Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays and asking you to consider bringing non-perishable foods with you to donate at the event.

Last year, Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays provided groceries to over 106,000 neighbors in Mecklenburg Co., a 38% increase. Half were children and seniors.

On the heels that 2022 explosion in food insecurity, January and February 2023 saw their highest totals in their 48 year history. And now they are bracing for an even greater rise in need. As of March 1, families and individuals who are recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) saw a decrease of at least $95 a month. We know that these cuts, coming in the midst of already-unprecedented need, are creating a crisis that will demand the generous support of our entire community.

Together, we can keep food on our neighbor's tables.



The MeckMIN Youth committee is hosting an Operation Sandwich service project for middle and high school youth May 7.


Next MeckMIN Open Tables will be June 15. These dinner dialogue events are open to all adults interested in having respectful conversations across differences.

IFTAR DINNER April 15, Caldwell Presbyterian Church

Erkam Adiguzel |

The Turkish Divan Center invites all to celebrate Ramadan on Saturday, April 15 at Caldwell Presbyterian Church. Come and explore an example of Turkish celebration of Ramadan (music & food)

Register HERE


We need a volunteer to update the list of housing organizations listed in our website. This is a remote opportunity that would involve reaching out to each organization listed to make sure that the information we have is correct. If you are interested, contact LeDayne.


Whether you have been a part of MeckMIN for decades or just learned about us, we want to get your thoughts on what we're doing and could be doing to fulfill our mission. We would very much appreciate your feedback on what we do and what we might do in the future.

Please take our survey and share your thoughts. There are both multiple choice and open-ended questions. If you do just the multiple choice ones, it will take 15 minutes or less. You can complete as few or as many of the open ended ones as you like.

2. Non-Profit Updates


Rabbi Lexi Erdheim | | 704-366-1948 (main office)

Temple Beth El | 5101 Providence Road, Charlotte NC 28226

Tuesday, April 25 – A Call to Action to Prevent Gun Violence in Our Schools – Friendship Missionary Baptist Church (or online)

If you have any questions email Rabbi Lexi Erdheim at:


Anna Cushman | Immigrant Attorney

St. John's Baptist Church invites you to join us for "Building a Better World: In Solidarity with Immigrant Children and Families" on Wednesday, May 3 at 5:30pm in Broach Hall. We will share a meal, followed by a conversation that focuses on immigrant children and families who are our neighbors - challenges they face, their resilience and triumphs, and how we can participate in welcoming them. Sharing experiences and insights with us will be Sil Ganzo, Lindsey Goehring, and Gricelda de la Cruz. These dynamic and experienced local leaders will help inform us on the experiences, gifts and needs of immigrant children. Come to learn, engage and begin the reciprocal hospitality that people of faith are called to provide. See you at 300 Hawthorne Lane, Charlotte, on May 3rd at 5:30pm to witness and participate in a powerful and timely dialogue. See flier for registration QR code.

-What can we do to welcome our neighbors?

-We need to receive education to better understand and help them

-It won’t be a Panel but rather a conversation and experience for all the participants


Our streets are our responsibility. Vision Zero is a data driven approach to traffic safety that focuses public dollars on areas that statistically create the most public benefit. This initiative seeks to improve public safety and end traffic fatalities through education, enforcement and engineering projects like crosswalks, bike lanes and better street lighting. The Charlotte Department of Transportation is committed to continuing to work with the community to make our streets safer.

Scierra Bratton, APR | | 704-608-5333 Vision Zero Community Coordinator Charlotte Department of Transportation | 600 East 4th Street | Charlotte, NC 28202

-Global strategy to address the global crisis of accidents

-These fatalities are preventable

-GOAL: Reach 0 fatalities by 2030

-We need to change our behavior to help lower the #’s

-2017 high incidences of fatalities in Charlotte

-3E’s: Engagement, Education & Enforcement, Engineering

Scierra is available to provide a table at your event or to make presentations


Monica Aquilera |

Hope For Minds & Hearts Ministry at Matthews UMC

-Free lunch & presentation by Dr. Hale on sUNDAY, May 7

-Dr. Daniel Hale Will share his family story on suicide and provide wisdom about the ways out of depression


Lauren Rogers | | (704) 333-8099 ext. 110

Director of Community Engagement

1817 Central Avenue, Suite 215 | Charlotte, NC 28205

Refugee Housing Summit is being hosted in Raleigh later this month for any faith groups that are considering getting more involved in housing solutions. It’s a free event, with a $10 registration fee to cover the cost of the provided lunch. It could be a great opportunity for houses of worship that want to get more involved in immigrant/refugee housing solutions, but don’t know where to start with the process.

“The CBFNC Hospitality and Housing Summit Saturday, April 29th at Trinity BC Raleigh is the first time we’re asking the churches across North Carolina to come together since establishing the Welcome House Community Network in 2020. There are 50 churches doing housing programs at this time and many others seeking to get started in the near future”.

-Great opportunity to learn what other congregations are doing

Other than that, we only have TWO more Cultural Sensitivity Training sessions planned for this spring—Monday, April 24thfrom 12-4:30 PM and May 2nd from 12-4:30 PM. After that, we’ll be working directly with employers and businesses to schedule organization-specific training for groups. If anyone is interested in attending the training as an individual participant, please register on our website: If you’re interested in scheduling a training specific to your organization, please contact me directly at

Cultural Sensitivity Training details:


Jaclyn John |

Hello - my name is Jackie John and I am a lay member of St. John’s Episcopal Church and the convener of our social justice ministry, The Way Forward. I would like to thank you for your time and attention today. St. John’s is excited to be a part of the MeckMIN community and support its effort to embrace the depth and breadth of this wide network of difference and unity within the city of Charlotte.

This month as we celebrate Earth Day, St. John’s would like to invite the MeckMIN community to an evening with Michael Anello, the Executive Director of Haiti Reforestation Partnership. Michael will speak with us about their organization and its mission to provide resources, education, and expertise to support reforestation work in Haiti. As you may know, Haiti’s reputation as the poorest country in the western hemisphere can be traced back to French Colonization and the stripping of hardwoods to create sugar plantations. They have never been able to really recover in terms of the land - and viability of farming - since the French occupation. So, the land was stripped, and massive erosion due to rainfall deeply impacted rural life.

The founder of CODEP, which stands for Cooperative Development Project, had the idea to create a watershed intervention to anchor the soil by reforestation efforts. The goal was to move the community to self-sufficiency - learning together with the people of Haiti - about what works best. The vision was to take barren land and reforest it - to restore the land, to restore rural life. And, by reducing erosion, more water infiltrates in the soil which means more water coming out of the springs. This is important as this is the water source for the people of the land. After 30 years of slow, sustainable growth, progress has been made - both with long-term investments in the forest and also short-term investments in farming sustainability for daily life. Schools were built without fear of being washed away, and the people take ownership of doing the work. Haiti Reforestation Partnership assists CODEP by providing seedling bags, shovels and picks, and other farming needs. Through the work of reforestation, Haiti is working to recover and restore, one tree at a time.

In our efforts to see creation care through the lens of social justice, we are excited to welcome Michael and all who are interested to learn more.

Michael will be joining us on Wednesday, April 19th from 6:30-8:00 in our parish hall and we are located at 1623 Carmel Road. Our front entrance is actually in the back of the church, where the parking lot is located. There is a blue awning at the entrance, and a greeter will be available to direct you to the hall.

Our flyer was added to the latest MeckMIN newsletter on April, 6th with a website and video to explore more.


Bethany McDonald | | 704-626-5980 (ext 5202)

Executive Director

(formerly Hearts Beat as One Foundation)

2920 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28206

1. On Thursday, April 20, Hearts United for Good (HUGCLT) will host an informational/training event focused on identifying and supporting victims of sex trafficking, presented by Fletch Roberts with Present Age Ministries. The event will be hosted at HUGCLT from 6-8pm, and drinks and snacks will be provided. The location is 2920 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte NC 28206.

-trafficking numbers #’s are astonishing -- NC is 9th in the nation

-an epidemic taking us by storm

2. HUGCLT has recently celebrated the opening of the “Joyce Kelly Community Room”, a large multipurpose space available to all community organizations at no cost for trainings, screenings, presentations, and more. We have installed a state of the art A/V system (via donation) including 2 airplay projectors, two 4k truss-mounted video cameras for recording and live streaming, a large, 30 ft. stage, multiple microphones (handheld, wireless, and lapel), spotlights, programmable uplights, and four 55” tvs on rolling mounts. We also feature a large conference table, comfortable sitting area with couch and recliner for smaller groups, and up too 100 chairs for seating (more can be added if needed). There is also an 8ft glass whiteboard, and eight 4-ft rolling white desks with power for events that require attendees to have writing space.

NO BARRIER -food pantry Weds 5:30 pm

Bea Coté, LCSW, LMFT | | 980-721-7268 tel | 704-535-5505 fax

Founder and Executive Director

IMPACT, LLC and Step Up to Family Safety |

6035-100 Florence Ave Charlotte NC 28212

Leadership Charlotte Class 40

VISION: Step Up to Family Safety will create a safe and healthy environment where relationships, families, and our communities can thrive free from domestic abuse and violence.

MISSION: The mission of Step Up to Family Safety is to align and actively support efforts to eliminate the Domestic Abuse crisis through educating the community at large, connecting abusers with intervention and prevention services, and advocating for the safety of victims / survivors of Domestic Abuse.

Bea Coté talked about how they'll be merging IMPACT's DV intervention program under their nonprofit umbrella, so everything is going to change in terms of websites, etc. Currently they're separate but complementary businesses.

Briefly, we address DV at its source: with the abuser. We're the only type of intervention that saves lives. We educate the professionals and others about their roles in this important work; hold abusers accountable to the community; provide supportive and preventative programming that is unduplicated. We're in 5 NC counties. In Meck, most of our clients are self-referred from victims or counselors or pastors; most are NOT court-ordered, though they are in other counties.

-Has a need for office and group meeting space

-Attempts to stop abuse at the cause of the root, the abuser

-Program is a minimum of 26 weeks long – 1 ½ hour/week

-Only works with male offenders

-By abusing the mother they are abusing the children

Serving Mecklenburg, Union, Gaston, Cleveland and Lincoln counties


Poor People’s Campaign April 24th Moral Monday Event

Samantha Turner |


CT Anderson |

Founder and Creative Director, Springclean

-An org that focuses on textile recycling

-Just as there are food drives they are planning a Shoppable Drive where participants can shop outfits – they want people to have clothes they feel good about and feel dignified in

-Seamstress will be available


Director of Major Gifts | Crisis Assistance Ministry

500-A Spratt Street, Charlotte, NC 28206

Phone 704.371.3001 x.134 | fax 704.333.4310

-Working to keep families together and in safe places

-have been working with a Consultancy Firm and inquired what the community wants of CA? Homeless Prevention and Growth



Bobbi Hague |


Wedgewood is so excited to announce that we are hosting a concert by internationally acclaimed musicians of The String Time Duo (Marina Alexandra and Angela Reed) on Saturday, April 29th at 7:00 in the Enclave. Tickets for the event are regularly priced at $30. Tickets will be sold until we sell out. Purchase tickets HERE

This is a presale and no tickets will be sold at the door. Seating is first come, first serve basis. A part of the proceeds will go to help the Ukraine. Don't miss this great opportunity to hear these outstanding international musicians at Wedgewood! The concert is titled "Musical Voyage" and will present music by composers from Spain, Argentina, Brazil, and North America. String Time Duo was formed in 2021, by award-winning musicians Angelina Reed (domra) and Marina Alexandra (guitar). Playing a variety of world and classical music, the duo is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.


3. General Information


Did you know that April is Fair Housing Month? I invite you to a workshop on fair housing with a focus on criminal background checks. This will be a hybrid event held via Zoom and at the Belmont Center, 700 Parkwood Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28205.

We will hear from Lauren Brasil from Legal Aid of NC, who will provide us with a legal context and HUD guidance. Chablis Dandridge, a community activist, will provide personal testimony and share information on the Reentry Housing Alliance. I will be talking you through a fair housing investigation involving criminal background checks.



Matthews Presbyterian Church (“MPC”) is seeking to identify a suitable tenant or tenants to repurpose their Chapel Building. The Chapel Building is available for use by outside organizations aligned with the mission of MPC and serving the Matthews community. The three story building is approximately 17,350 square feet and is in good condition, but will need some repairs/upfit. An ideal tenant will have capacity to manage the building including upfit, sub-tenants, and ongoing maintenance and repairs. Please visit the website to find information for the RFI and to respond, if interested.


704-334-8518 | 704-334-5003 fax

2035 Patton Ave. Charlotte, NC 28216

GEP Community Resource and Family Day May 20th 11-2pm at Merry Oaks International Academy

We are hosting our annual family day and community resource fair on Saturday May 20th from 11-2pm at Merry Oaks International Academy. My organization provides a free academic enrichment afterschool program to students that attend five CMS elementary schools in Charlotte. The event is free and will have at least 300 participants. We would love for you to set up a table to share information about your services. We are hoping to have at least 15 vendors in addition to food, inflatables and activities for the entire family. Please let me know if you are interested and available. I can be reached at or 505-738-9005.


Gina Esquivel | | 704-714-4438 (O) | 704-451-6148 (C)

Director Lee Institute


URGENT! The Lee Institute, in collaboration with the Mecklenburg County Government, is spearheading a critical community engagement initiative to gather valuable insights from residents and community leaders concerning corporate-owned single-family rentals. As a key leader in Mecklenburg County, your input is indispensable. If you cannot attend, we welcome a delegate on your behalf.

Please secure your spot at one of the two sessions. Confirm your attendance by selecting your preferred date and registering through. The meeting will be held at the Lee Institute offices. Food and beverage will be provided. Each group is limited to 10 participants.

Your participation will directly impact shaping the Mecklenburg County government's approach to supporting the community in this vital area.

We need your voice to build a more robust, equitable community.

Thank you for your prompt attention and dedication.

The Lee Institute, a nonprofit, strengthens organizations, empowers leaders and engages citizens so they can build great communities. The Lee Institute is a division of the Lynnwood Foundation, a 501c3, which also preserves and protects the historic landmark, The Duke Mansion.



Love is more than a rush of feeling. Love is sweet labor: fierce, bloody, imperfect, and life giving – a choice we make again and again. Love is not any one emotion. Love is all our emotions: Joy is the gift of love. Grief is the price of love. Anger is what we harness to protect that which we love. Revolutionary Love is the choice to labor for others, for opponents, and for ourselves -- to transform the world around us, and within us. Valarie Kaur

Copyright © 2023 The Revolutionary Love Project and

Next meeting – TWO weeks from today – Thursday, April 27th at 11 AM


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