Our weekly check-in meeting is open to anyone interested in supporting compassionate community response to our most vulnerable neighbors in this time of crisis. Meetings are held online every 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 subscribe to our newsletter.
Want to learn more about we do on our calls? Watch this short video clip!
Click Here to Access Zoom Recording: : qcmDP07$
In this Issue:
4/22, 6-7:30pm: Open Table Event
4/24: Youth Leadership Summit
4/29, 10-11:30: Reentry Partners Resource Fair
4/29, 11am: MeckMIN Leader Meeting
4/29, 8-9pm: RAP TRACC Hearing on Inequities in Disciplinary Practices in CMS
4/30, Pop Up Food Share
5/2, 12-12:30pm Prayer Service in honor of “Dwelling in a Time of Plague”
5/6, 11am: MeckMIN Leader Meeting
5/13, 11am: MeckMIN Leader Meeting
5/20, NO MECKMIN LEADER MEETING
5/20, 6 -7:30pm: Open Table Event
5/22, 10-1pm Next Level Workshop Symposium
5/27, 11 am: MeckMIN Leader Meeting
5/28: Last Day to Register! In Our Own Backyard Youth Interfaith Summer Camp
6/10, 11am: MeckMIN Leader Meeting
Led by Pastor Israel Geybeyehu of Ethiopian Evangelical Church of Charlotte
From Psalm 133 “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.” When we are together we bring blessings more quickly. A prayer of thanksgiving for the many voices and communities gathered on the call . May our time together be blessed.
1. MeckMIN Updates
Food For Thought
We’re planning a new season of Food for Thought events, and we like to get your ideas. If you have speakers or topics to suggest, please email LeDayne Polaski, Executive Director of MeckMIN
Houses of Faith Creating Affordable Housing
We’d like to have a Food for Thought session focused on houses of faith that are CREATING affordable housing, not just working on the issue. We would like to feature those congregations that are doing this work. If you know of congregations that are creating affordable housing,email LeDayne Polaski
Mayfield Memorial and Caldwell Presbyterian were mentioned and Clarke Cochran will reach out to his son for information that he will share with LeDayne.
New Schedule for Leadership Calls
Starting May 27th, Leadership calls will be scheduled every other week.
In Our Own Backyard Interfaith Youth Summer Camp
In Our Own Backyard (IOOBY) is an interfaith youth summer camp experience held June 10 -13 for high-school aged youth as well as college bound freshmen in Mecklenburg County. The cost is $250 and scholarships are available. The purpose of the camp is to bring youth together from different faiths, races and socioeconomic backgrounds to learn more about each other’s faith traditions and to serve area residents in need. Participants visit various social agencies, visit different houses of faith for worship services and develop their own interfaith service on the last evening of the program. Attendees are eligible to join the MeckMIN youth council. Deadline is May 28th
Please help us spread the word by sharing the webpage on your social media accounts and within your personal networks
MeckMIN's Annual Membership Campaign # Who's In?
MeckMIN is kicking off its Annual Membership Campaign encouraging houses of faith and non-profits to consider how they can support the vital work of MeckMIN by becoming a member. In this time of renewal, help us continue the work of promoting interfaith collaboration to foster UNDERSTANDING, COMPASSION and JUSTICE. We hope you will make YOUR annual gift to support our work for understanding, compassion and justice.
Ways to Join:
Mail a check to PO Box 11243, Charlotte, NC 28220
If you aren't sure if your membership is current, contact us at email@example.com. The campaign continues through May 31st.
Upcoming Open Table Events April 22nd and May 20th; Open Table events offer rare opportunities to join the discussion as an individual rather than just as a congregation. Usually this program is a collaboration between 2 to 4 congregations who gather to discuss topics that affect them all but in April and May we will open the process to individuals as well. We will be using Living Room Questions as a guide. This is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and have an authentic and substantive conversation across lines of difference.
The work of Mike Wirth, a Queens University professor and artist, will be included as part of a national initiative by the CANVAS Jewish Arts & Culture Funding Collaborative called "Dwelling in a Time of Plagues" Passover project. Wirth's piece, entitled Havtachah – the Promise, honors those in our community who are living in tent cities and who face dire economic hardship and housing insecurity.
A Charlotte interfaith project, the traveling 16' x 8' mural will originally be installed at Camp North End during the Jewish holiday of Passover, March 28 to April 4. It will then move to four other sites around Charlotte for Easter and Ramadan as part of a "pitching our tent tour" that will inspire increased conversation around Charlotte housing.
MeckMIN is very pleased to be a part of this project. Watch for more information about how you can participate when we partner with Park Road Baptist Church to host the mural April 25 to May 12.
“Dwelling in a Time of Plagues”: Mike Wirth's piece entitled "Havtachah – the Promise," honors those in our community who are living in tent cities and who face dire economic hardship and housing insecurity. This community-wide interfaith project, a traveling 16' x 8' mural was installed at Camp North End and is now moving to four other sites as part of a "pitching our tent tour" to inspire increased conversation around our lack of affordable housing. MeckMIN is partnered with Park Road Baptist Church to host the mural from April 25 to May 12.
On Sunday, May 2, from 12-12:30pm MeckMIN and Park Road Baptist Church will gather by the mural and hold a brief prayer service committing ourselves to continued work to end homelessness. Donations will be received for Leah’s Hopes and Dreams to support their new transitional home for formerly homeless men as well as their on-going services to people who remain homeless.
Achieving herd immunity will require accessing the relationships that people have with their faith communities. The April 29 meeting will focus on how pastoral leaders can support vaccination in their communities. Ideas shared include:
Personal testimonies from people who were at first hesitant. Why did they change their minds? What side effects have they experienced? If anyone know of someone who fits this description and would be willing to talk, please share.
Congregational forums on vaccine safety.
Leaders getting the vaccine and sharing their experience.
Member getting the vaccine and sharing that.
Clinics at the house of faith
Congregations helping members get an appointment.
If you have a resource of any type that has been helpful to you in addressing vaccine hesitancy, PLEASE let us know so we can share it.
CMS Equity Committee Openings
There are a few openings on the CMS Equity Committee. The Board will vote on nominations on May 11th so if you are interested in being nominated, please email LeDayne Polaski, Executive Director, MeckMIN for application.
Camp CMS Community Partnerships
Camp CMS registration has closed and around 22K students are registered. Camps will begin on June 14th and run for three consecutive weeks then break for the week of July 4th and then continue for three more weeks. There are around 70 locations and those will be shared once they are confirmed.
CMS is looking for partners in two areas:
If you have services/programs/activities that you would like to provide to students on site at CampCMS, please reach out to the principal at the site you would like to partner with. The list of sites should be finalized soon and will be shared with LeDayne and the CMS distribution list. They hope to make CampCMS fun as well as academic.
If you would like to host a CampCMS on your own site, please reach out to Rosanna Saladin-Subero to explore options. They are partnering with a select group of organizations in this way.
If you are not currently on CMS’ distribution list for their partner letter, please reach out to Rosanna Saladin-Subero and she will add you to the distribution list.
Finally, CMS is planning a service week for leadership in July. If you have opportunities for volunteers that you want to offer, please reach out so we can share with our leadership team.
Combatting Anti-Asisan Pacific Islander Racism
Below are a number of ways that you can help combat Anti-Asisan Pacific Islander (AAPI) racism.
From NC Asian Americans Together (NCAAT):
Report anti-AAPI discrimination at www.ncaatogether.org/biasreporting.
A list of resources from Thanh Vu:
Check on your AAPI friends, coworkers, neighbors.
Call out racial microaggressions when you hear them by asking why a person may think what they are saying is appropriate.
Donate to organizations committed to combating anti-AAPI racism such as Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Hate is a Virus, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans.
Report Anti-Asian hate crimes through CMPD and/or through https://stopaapihate.org/
Support Asian local businesses in the area
Start conversations about this topic with friends and family
Email/call legislators on the ways they are, or not, supporting the AAPI in our community
Links to online resources:
View List of what you can do about anti-Asian racism from Asian Feed.
Join or reach out to the Carolinas Asian American Chamber of Commerce.
Explore Asian Americans Advancing Justice site
Join the work of Hate is a Virus
Support the work of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
Learn more and donate after watching this documentary from The Try Guys
Charlotte Knights "Safe at Home" Grant Application
Charlotte Knights Charities awards financial grants to non-profit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) organizations in the Charlotte area that better the quality of life of those living here.
Target Areas & Grant Size :
Priority will be given to requests for projects and programs that address a community need. Eligible organizations are expected to address one of the following target areas:
Areas Not Typically Funded
Capital Campaign Requests:
Direct support of individuals
Travel and conferences
Projects that promote political or religious views
Political or lobbying activities
Charlotte Knights Charities seeks to award grants up to $5,000. Actual award amounts will be determined based on the merit of the project and available funds. Proposals received requesting more than $5,000 will not be considered. Applications are due by midnight on Monday, May 31, 2021
Stimulus Payments Available to those Experiencing Homelessness
People experiencing homelessness are able to recieve Stimulus Payments. Yesterday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance explaining that most people experiencing homelessness are eligible for $1,400 Economic Impact Payments – or stimulus payments – from the American Rescue Plan Act and $600 stimulus payments from the December COVID relief legislation. The IRS guidance explains that people can file tax forms to receive their stimulus payments – and the earned income tax credit – even if they don’t have a permanent address or a bank account. The Center strongly encourages nonprofits to help spread the word and help people experiencing homelessness in their communities to get this important economic relief.
Survey for Faith-Based Preschool Services
Ariana Shahinfar and UNCC are partnering with SmartStart of Mecklenburg County to create a map of services available to families with young children. They are looking for information on services offered from pregnancy through age 3. This includes diaper services, food and nutrition support, etc. If you or any congregation or faith-based organization you know offers these services, please complete this brief survey . If you encounter any problems or if you believe there is something that has been omitted from the survey please email Ariana Shahinfar
“An Affirmation of Human Solidarity in a Time of Racial Division”
On April 21st at 5pm an interfaith statement of support was shared with the media. Signatures to this statement are welcome on an ongoing basis, however. If you want to join this effort, please add your signature here
Vaccine Clinics targeting our motorcycle clubs and neighbors, sponsored by the African American Women's MC, Altered Egos. Saturday, May 1st, 9 to 3,Beatties Ford Road Health Department, 2845 Beatties Ford Road. Sign up here or call the Health Department at 980.314.9400
Erin Phelps : Erin is still collecting diapers and period products for clients.
Venmo: @Erin-Phelps-12, Cashapp is $phelpserin or Email
Dream Key Partners (Formerly Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership)
Contact Erin Barbee, Sr. VP of Programs and Fund Development-
Just a reminder that Dream Key Partners (DKP) has BOTH rental and mortgage assistance programs that they can offer. They are overseeing the RampCLT program which provides emergency relief funds for those experiencing trouble because of Covid. It is available to those who are at 80% of AMI and in rentals or hotels. They have had over 8,500 applicants and spent over $10 million on the rental assistance program. They have not fully utilized the funds for mortgage assistance. They have over $2 million available for those struggling to pay their mortgage who are at 80% of AMI (66K or less for a family of four and $46K for an individual). You must live within the city of Charlotte and have experienced hardship due to Covid. There is a lot of paperwork and documentation. Visit RAMPCLT for a full list and information. The mortgage assistance is open all the time and the rental assistance is open between the 1st and 15th of the month. The program will continue through 2025.
Habitat for Humanity Critical Home Repair
Contact Zach Suber, Partnerships Development Officer -
For residents facing unsafe structures in their home, Habitat provides a critical home repair program. Habitat provides expertise, labor and more to repair those structures. If there are costs, we ensure it is affordable for families. This year they will repair about 120 homes, about a 50% jump due to growth in both need and capacity. The big bottleneck is that they need more applicants. Criteria are specific – single family owner, occupied detached home or mobile homes on owner occupied land. Average age is 67 and income of 22K or 40% AMI. 86% of our recipients are female head of household. There is no minimum income limit and the maximum is up to 80 AMI. Most are on fixed income. Please help us by sending families our way. There is a referral program and you can put in the details and Habitat will contact them. They need particular help in SW charlotte and Cornelius. They also seek donations to their Restore Shops.
Next Level Leadership, an organization that works to develop well informed, knowledgeable African American leaders, is hosting a symposium on Saturday May 22nd from 10 – 1. It will feature an educational advocacy workshop and a resume building workshop. REGISTER HERE! Contact Cedric Steele at 704.208.7714 with questions.
Multifaith Earth Day Resource
The March 11th Sacred People, Sacred Earth Day of Action generated 420 amazing actions in 49 countries. Sacred People, Sacred Earth is built around the GreenFaith International Network’s 10 demands for governments, financial institutions, and religious communities - a moral blueprint for a compassionate, just, survivable future. As Earth Day approaches, we want to share a GreenFaith International Multi-Faith Resource with illustrations of grassroots demonstrations around the 10 demands to provide instructional narratives for your teaching and public proclamation.
Religious and spiritual leaders around the world often offer an environmental sermon, khutbah, dharma teaching, dvar torah, or other spoken message close to 22 April - Earth Day. And every worship or spiritual gathering is an opportunity to convey how our moral values, spiritual philosophy, or religious beliefs compel us to take bold action on climate change. As part of the GreenFaith Community, you empower diverse religious communities far and wide. We want to support your efforts with this resource to help you speak about the 10 Demands.
The Sikh Coalition hosts a Vigil -April 22, 8pm
The Sikh Coaltion invites YOU to join in an interfaith, virtual event to lament alongside the Sikh community the violent deaths in the mass shooting in Indianapolis. This online event will be a night of testimony, music, prayer, and song. Join us for a multiracial interfaith vigil to grieve and stand in solidarity with the Sikh community. In the wake of the verdict over George Floyd’s murder, we will gather to recommit to ending anti-Black racism and racial violence in all forms. We will be joined by faith leaders, artists, activists, and Sikh community members. This online event will be a night of testimony, music, prayer, and song. We will gather in grief, rage, and love — and the Sikh spirit of Chardi Kala, ever-rising spirits even in darkness. The event is hosted by Revolutionary Love on Thursday, April 22, at 8 PM EST / 5 PM PST. The vigil is intended to allow all to grieve and stand in solidarity with the Sikh community one week after the mass shooting. RSVP HERE!
Mayfield CDC’s Work on Affordable Living
Mayfield CDC is doing some amazing work and you have the opportunity to help make the dream of affordable living become available to many more of our Charlotte residents. Please sign in support of the rezoning so that we can move forward to help increase the numbers for adequate and safe housing.
Contact Marcus Reddrick, 980-307-1453 or 980-314-5044
On Thursday, April 29 from 10-11:30am Reentry Partners of Mecklenburg is hosting a virtual resource fair featuring 20 presenters who will speak to education, training, obtaining ID and more. This is a VIRTUAL fair targeted to those who have criminal records and their families but open to all.
Lionel Lee Center for Wellness
"Ladies Who Lunch" fundraiser to support transgender women of color will be held on May 1 from 1-4 pm at 2424 N Davidson St. Lunch will be available for in-house or to go orders. Funds will be used to provide emergency assistance to trans women of color especially those who are housing insecure. Donations can be made via Paypal here! If you have questions feel free to email Sonja or call 704-719-0848.
Youth Serve America ! Global Youth Service Day
Sign Up for our Youth Townhall Here! 24th is Global Youth Service Day. Power UP USA and Youth Service America believes that youth, communities, and our democracy thrive when we all work together for the common good. Our mission is to activate young people, ages 5-25, to find their voice, take action, and acquire powerful civic and 21st Century skills as they solve problems facing their communities. Youth-led projects use Awareness, Service, Advocacy, and Philanthropy (LeadASAP) strategies to create social and environmental change.
Sign Up Here! Outpour sets up its mobile shower unit in the FCC parking lot, 1200 East Boulevard, Charlotte, every Tuesday between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Two volunteers are needed for two shifts each Tuesday. Volunteers will help with set up, show guests available toiletry items and gather them for their use in a bin. Volunteers will show hospitality, help with general organization and keep things running smoothly. All supplies are furnished by Project Outpour. COVID protocols will be in place and enforced, including: six foot social distance; all guests, volunteers and staff to wear gloves and masks; and disinfection of showers between each guest (staff will do this if volunteers are not comfortable doing so).
All work is outside and standing up. Volunteers should dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes, in addition to a mask at all times.
Pop Up Food Share Sponsored by The Park Church in Partnership with Loaves & Fishes
Prayer for Nonprofit Leaders
From Mary Standing Otter
Right now there are Tibetan Buddhist monks in a temple in the Himalayas endlessly reciting mantras for the cessation of your suffering and for the flourishing of your happiness.
Someone you haven't met yet is already dreaming of adoring you.
Someone is writing a book that you will read in the next two years that will change how you look at life.
Nuns in the Alps are in endless vigil, praying for the Holy Spirit to alight the hearts of all of God's children.
A farmer is looking at his organic crops and whispering, "nourish them."
Someone wants to kiss you, to hold you, to make tea for you.
Someone is willing to lend you money, wants to know what your favorite food is, and treat you to a movie.
Someone in your orbit has something immensely valuable to give you — for free.
Something is being invented this year that will change how your generation lives, communicates, heals, and passes on.
The next great song is being rehearsed.
Thousands of people are in yoga classes right now intentionally sending light out from their heart chakras and wrapping it around the earth.
Millions of children are assuming that everything is amazing and will always be that way.
Someone is in profound pain, and a few months from now, they'll be thriving like never before. From where they are, they just can't see it .
Someone who is craving to be partnered, to be acknowledged, to arrive, will get precisely what they want — and even more. And because that gift will be so fantastical in its reach and sweetness, it will quite magically alter their memory of angsty longing and render it all "So worth the wait."
Someone has recently cracked open their joyous, genuine nature because they did the hard work of hauling years of oppression off of their psyche — this luminous juju is floating in the ether, and is accessible to you.
Someone just this second wished for world peace, in earnest.
Some civil servant is making sure that you get your mail, and your garbage is picked up, that the trains are running on time, and that you are generally safe.
Someone is dedicating their days to protecting your civil liberties and clean drinking water.
Someone is regaining their sanity.
Someone is coming back from the dead.
Someone is genuinely forgiving the seemingly unforgivable.
Someone is curing the incurable.
You. Me. Some. One. Now.