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.
In this Issue:
Click Here to Access 10/15/20 View Zoom Recording: Passcode: B357.JS8
1/23, 11a-3pm: Charlotte Kisaan Rally
1/25-29: Augustine Literacy Project trainings
1/25, 7pm: Fire by Night Conversations led by Greg Jarrell and Hannah Hasan
1/26 8pm: MeckMIN Interfaith Youth Meeting
1/28 6pm: “Parenting in the Pandemic”
2/10, 3-4 pm: East Charlotte Leaders Meetin
My name is Andrea Betaudier
Good morning and a 2021 greeting to all
by science, I am Black and female
by choice - my faith is Christianity
I practice - Baptist Doctrine
and my calling is to serve humanity
I want to reflect on Remember to Count Your Blessings, Name Them One by One.
2020, wow what a year! We are still present and accounted for; but how will you remember it?
So much has happened and documented but how will you keep track of it for the purpose of your individual and collective history? You lived and are still living through a world pandemic of unusual proportions - how will you remember?
How will you tell the unborn what happened in 2020?
BLM worldwide protest
The 2020 U.S. election and insurrection against our citadel of democracy
The Inauguration of the 46th president and 49th vice president
How will you remember the natural disasters of flooding, fires and hurricanes, and rescues from the same? The worldwide spike in unemployment, hospital bed shortages, homelessness of great proportions since the era of The Great Depression. I will stop here.
There is always a silver lining when mourning and grief flood our world. MeckMIN has pulled community partners together to share viable information with partners and our community on a whole so that we can be better informed.
Loaves and Fishes has had a record year of food distribution as well as houses of faith.
Individuals and corporations are working together to educate our children virtually, feed the hungry, and provide housing for the homeless.
Never have I seen in my 33 years in Charlotte the magnitude of outpouring compassion to strangers. What do you remember and how will you record this time in history? I hope with the greater truth by counting your many blessings!
Prayer: Father, Creator, Sustainer, we your people pause to THANK YOU for who you are to us individually and collectively. Your grace, mercy and love are much bigger than we can imagine. Lord, help us to recognize, not our will, but Thine be done. In Your matchless names I submit this prayer. Amen
1. MeckMIN Updates
Interfaith Youth Meeting, Jan 26 at 8pm: All middle and high school youth are invited to gather via Zoom on January 26 at 8 pm to meet and get to know other youth of different faiths throughout the county . Access Zoom link here
Hundreds of people from Charlotte’s South Asian community are holding a large demonstration and car rally on Saturday January 23th. They join protests happening across the country and the world, in support of Indian farmers. The Indian Government recently passed 3 bills allowing corporations to purchase crops at much cheaper prices that could destroy livelihoods.
This movement is one of the largest protests in human history.
Over the past few months, peaceful protestors have been met with tear gas, water cannons and violence from the Indian government.
North Carolinians want to uphold universal, democratic rights to peacefully assemble.
We have attached more background information, including letters from American politicians urging the Indian government to listen to farmers' concerns.
This is a David vs Goliath fight, and many people who live in our area, have loved ones affected in India.
Over 80 farmers have died fighting for their rights.
Demonstrations have erupted in several major cities all over the world, including India’s capital. The Indian government scheduled several talks on the matter. So far no resolution.
In the News:
Directory of Local Faith Communities
MeckMIN would like to find (or create) a comprehensive list of congregations in Mecklenburg County so that when we invite “the faith community” to participate in events and programs, we’re actually including everyone in the invitation. If you are aware of a list like this, PLEASE let us know. If you have a partial list, such as the local affiliates of your denomination, that you’d be willing to share, please pass it along.
Comparative Religion Series: We live in a world where loved ones suffer, where kids struggle, where pandemics come, where hate spreads, where political differences divide, and where not everyone can move to higher ground when life’s storms come. Religious traditions must reckon with the reality of this world. We invite you to learn about how Charlotte’s Multi-Faith Communities understand individual and communal healing. The interactive evenings will include rich discussions from a diverse group of faith leaders with opportunities for Q&A. Presented by Temple Beth El and MeckMIN.
REGISTER HERE! Tuesdays at 7:00pm:
January 26 - Healing of the Mind
February 2 - Healing of the Body
February 9 - Healing of the Soul
The Racial Equity 21-Day Challenge : MeckMIN is cosponsoring The Racial Equity 21-Day Challenge, a powerful opportunity for shared learning and growth that invites people in the Charlotte region to develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives and our community.
SIGN UP at uwccEquityChallenge.org for the 21-day self-guided learning journey that begins on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – January 18, 2021.
FREE to participate!
Receive an email every weekday January 18 – February 15 highlighting a different topic with links to recommended articles, videos, podcasts and more.
Topics include racial identity, intersectionality, housing affordability and homelessness, race and health, legal system inequity, allyship and more.
Annual Community Awards Breakfast: The breakfast is scheduled for April 7th (after Easter and before Ramadan)
Call for 2021 Community Leader Award Nominations! Deadline to submit is Thursday, Feb 4.
Nominations are now open! Visit the Annual Community Awards Breakfast page on the MeckMIN website to find nomination forms. You can also find a list of former awardees on this page.
Please consider becoming a sponsor! Support ranges from $250 to $5000. See the newsletter (going out 1/7) for more information. The breakfast is MeckMIN’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and we very much need your support in order to continue our work.
2. Community Events
Fire by Night Conversations January 25, 7 pm.
Fire by Night Conversations will be led by Greg Jarrell and Hannah Hasan. Focusing on themes of faith, freedom, community, justice, joy and much more; these conversations are meant to explore and understand each other across different faith traditions and life experiences. Hannah and Greg will share parts of their own stories and personal narratives and speak candidly about how their personal and religious beliefs shape the many ways that they show up in them the world. There will be guests and audience participation. Registration is required.
Artist Day of Remembrance February 6: A day to bring the community together to honor all that’s happened in the last year. They will be hosting workshops and classes. A Vigil is scheduled at the end of the day with poetry and music. Looking for sponsors/financial support. Contact Hannah Hasan for more information.
Myrtis Simpson Walker Youth Leadership Foundation,Inc. , Cynthia Johnson, 704-491-0176
“Parenting in the Pandemic” on Tuesday, January 28 at 6 pm. Register Here! Myrtis Simpson Walker Youth Leadership Foundation invites all to a lecture by Dr. Christina Christian, LLC “Parenting in the Pandemic” on Tuesday, January 28 at 6 pm. There will be a drawing amongst participants, with a $100 gift card and a $400 household Bill pay.
Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice, Queens University, Charlotte, NC, Donna Tarney, Student to Student Education Coordinator
New Student to Student Jewish Teenage Program: Jewish High School students in groups of 4 discuss their Jewish faith traditions (virtually) with other students. Aimed at eliminating stereotypes. Once the team is trained, they will be available to speak to other youth so be thinking about whether your congregation’s youth group might want to host them.
Prejudice often results from lack of knowledge and familiarity. As a response, the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte and the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice are pleased to announce the launch of Student to Student, a program that seeks to fight against antisemitism and prejudice in high school students.
Student to Student is a nationwide program developed by the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis. It helps young people put a “human face” to Judaism—the best antidote to bigotry and intolerance. The program will launch in Winter 2020 and will be conducted virtually. Charlotte will be the ninth city to launch this program and be first in the Southeast.
Student to Student is a high school peer education program that:
Strives to reduce prejudice and bigotry
Fosters understanding among peers
Brings together Jewish students from different backgrounds
Trains students to talk about their lives as Jewish teens
Facilitates discussions in an effort to dismantle antisemitism
Puts a human face to Judaism
Student presenters (high school juniors and seniors), will share on a range of topics from the different branches of Judaism, namely Conservative, Orthodox and Reform. These topics include, but are not limited to: the Sabbath, the Jewish life cycle from birth to Bar/Bat Mitzvah to marriage to death, antisemitism and the Holocaust, Israel, the Hebrew language, Jewish dietary practices, and Jewish holidays.
Presentations are enhanced through demonstrations. Instead of just describing a shofar (ram’s horn), an actual shofar may be passed around and, when possible, blown by one of the presenters; instead of just describing challah, the Sabbath bread may be passed around for sampling!
The Student to Student program educates, but it also Creates Leaders, Fights Antisemitism and Fosters Understanding.
3. Nonprofit Updates & Volunteer Needs
Leah's Hopes and Dreams , Tonya Dean, Outreach Director , 980-297-6971
Outreach Program addressing FOOD/EDUCATION/HOUSING issues:
Weds & Fridays: provides food and clothes to homeless
Tutoring Program: partners students with volunteers
Housing: Have one home in Concord housing a Mom and her 6 kids and another one on Freedom Dr. which will soon serve as a transitional home for 10-14 men.
3-5 year Goal: Build a Tiny Home community with gardens, recreational facilities possibly in the Rock Hill area (waiting on permits) Shower Truck: currently being built, will notify when ready.
Loaves and Fishes – needs volunteers for packing and distributing meals.
Looking for sponsors and supporters for their in-person summer learning program and alternative spaces to serve as host locations such as a church buildings, etc. If you have a space that might work, please contact Glenda Bernhardt .
Requesting food and non-perishable items for their food drive. See flyer below!
4. Covid Resources
Public Health, Novant, and Atrium have all consolidated their Vaccine info and is now available in multiple languages. Should be available soon in 7 more languages – available now in English and Spanish. Download PDF Below:
Upcoming FREE Webinar: Vaccines are Here: Now What? What to expect as vaccines become widely available. Feb 2, 6pm-7pm. REGISTER HERE
Provided by the North Carolina team of the Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities initiative with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).The goal of this webinar is to learn accurate and current information on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments from both doctors and community members. We will conduct a structured question and answer segment based on the questions registrants submit here.
This webinar is free and will be presented in both English and Spanish; to access the Spanish interpretation, please join us from a computer. Contact us!
This event is co-sponsored by UNC Center for Health Equity Research, Wake Forest School of Medicine Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, and Community-Campus Partnerships for Health. The NC CEAL research team is focused on raising awareness and education about COVID-19 among priority communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 (Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx and American Indian/Native American). As COVID-19 vaccines and treatments become widely available, we want to have a conversation with you about what this means for you, your loved ones, and your community.
Mecklenburg County Public Health, Kimberly Scales, Preparedness Coordinator
Vaccines are available for Health Care workers and people 65 & older. REGISTER HERE! or call the hotline 980-314-9400
Phase 1A: long-term care facilities and healthcare workers who work with COVID-19 patients.
Phase 1B only those 75 years could receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Bojangles Coliseum. As of now the only available location is Bojangles Coliseum but they hope to expand to more locations. Click here for vaccine appointment information for those 75+
While demand continues to be much greater than supply, individuals 65+ are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine per updated guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Please share information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. Please help eligible people in your network to get an appointment.
Covid Vaccine Toolkit:
Bagged Lunches Needed for for first responders and volunteers at Bojangles vaccination clinic: We received notice that the Bojangles vaccination clinic is in need of feeding our first responders and volunteers working at the site 6 days a week. The need is for individuals, or groups to bag 40 lunches and deliver them to Bojangles on the day of their choice. Family-friendly serve opportunity. You will find all the details within the sign-up genius link HERE.
Gloves Available: Does anyone need gloves for PPE? First United Methodis Church received a huge amount, mostly size M:
501 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Prayer for Nonprofit Leaders
From an interview with Mary Catherine Bateson on On Being:
Alas, one of the things we press on [children] is competition, because we have so much bought into the idea that competition is a law of nature and the only source of creativity. And incidentally, that is not a true biological fact. There is competition as part of the evolutionary process, but there is a tremendous amount of cooperation also involved, even at the cellular level.
[A] biologist named Lynn Margulis, who was a microbiologist studying single-celled creatures and their progenitors, came up with the theory that the cell with a nucleus actually came about by one single-cell organism taking up residence inside the other in a way that was mutually beneficial
The cells in the green plants have little islands of chlorophyll in order to do photosynthesis that is the base of our entire food chain, right? And it is now understood that they were originally like algae — they took up residence inside these cells, because they needed a home that they didn’t have. And so for millions of years, every cell in every leaf is actually a cooperative enterprise.
Prayer for you this week – May you really feel, really know the many ways in which you are a part of a greater whole, contributing to and benefitting from a cooperative community right down to the cellular level. And may that sustain you through all the coming week and coming year holds.