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January 4, 2024 | 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:


Opening Reflection

A Sikh Prayer for the New Year


As we step into the Gregorian year of 2024, may it be immersed in the radiant glow of Light and Love! Unfurl your hearts. Listen with profound intent. And… You shall hear the whispers of those: who've been graced, who've been cradled, in the tender proximity of the Beautiful. Experiences, ineffable and beyond description, are meant to be felt. So… Tread the path of awakening, imbued with patience and fortified by courage. Embrace the trials as gifts of Grace. Sip from the Nectar, immerse in ecstatic surrender. Allow… Love to metamorphose you, unfolding life as a lyrical symphony, resonating in the sanctity of the sacred.

1. MeckMIN Updates


These meetings are open to anyone or any group interested in promoting the common good in our shared Charlotte-Mecklenburg community.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the speakers/presenters and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the MeckMIN board or our member organizations.




Please save the dates for the next Faith Leader meetings with Mayor Lyles and other Charlotte city officials. We're tentatively planning to gather at noon on Thursday, January 11 at Union Seminary and again on Tuesday, March 19, at noon (location TBD.) Details soon. 


PREPARE & PACK SHOES with MeckMIN + JustServe + Samaritan's Feet Saturday, January 20 | 9 AM - 12 PM


Join MeckMIN and JustServe to Prepare and Pack Shoes with Samaritan's Feet International on Saturday, January 20, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at

4808 Chesapeake Drive, Charlotte, NC, 28216.Samaritan’s Feet volunteers 8 years+ may be asked to sort shoes by style, lefts, rights, and size, or they may be asked to pair shoes together by like-grouping. These tasks are essential for helping them prepare shoes for shipment locally, nationally, and internationally. Register HERE




Next meeting is January 18 followed by February 1, 15 and 29.  These meetings will remain open to all.


We’re so pleased that our newsletter has become a go-to resource for sharing important community events and information. Sometimes, though, it becomes too much of a good thing, and we’re asked to share much more than reasonably fits even in this electronic format. Because of that, on January 1, 2024, we’re going to start enforcing a long-standing policy and limit newsletter announcements to current house of faith or affiliate members. (You are a current member if you’ve made a membership gift within the last 12 months.) Memberships are on a sliding scale based on the number of members you have (houses of faith) or your annual budget (affiliate members).



If you are not yet receiving our regular email newsletter be sure and sign up here:

2. Non-Profit Updates

The views and opinions expressed below are those of the speakers/presenters and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the MeckMIN board or our member organizations.


Kayla Earley, MPH, PMP | | (M) 704-740-9387 (call/text).

External Affairs Community Liaison, Charlotte

My name is Kayla Earley, and I am here today representing ViiV Healthcare. We are the only pharmaceutical company solely focused on HIV. Our mission is to leave no person living with HIV behind. My role as the External Affairs Community Liaison is to listen to communities, activate a response, amplify voices, and sustain resources in areas most impacted by HIV. I do this by connecting people and organizations to each other, to funding opportunities, and to interactive workshops focused on changing the language and culture around HIV. Some of these workshops include:

·  Diary of a Virus - information related to the onset and evolution of HIV in American society, including its impact on communities of color.

·  Risk to Reasons - changing the narrative about HIV and Black women and increasing awareness and action around HIV prevention and care.

·  Mother to Son - a series of conversations to highlight the importance of both biological and chosen mother-son relationships for Black and Latinx men.

·  The Domino Effect: Fate vs Factors: Fate vs. Factors - how the social drivers in which we are born, grow, live, work, play, and love affect our health and affect each other.


Finally, ViiV Healthcare also offers Positive Action Community Grants related to advocacy, linkage/relinkage to care, and expanding networks of support and safer spaces. You can learn more about our grants HERE


If you’d like to know more, please contact me at or 704-740-9387 (call/text).


NEW YEAR CULTURAL FEAST: A MULTI-CULTURAL CELEBRATION MEAL Sunday, January 21 | 4 - 6:00 PM | Galilee Ministries 3601 Central Avenue


Laura Elliott |

Sponsored by Local Charlotte “Southern Piedmont Circle” 

of the National Poor People’s Campaign


The world is at a peak of division in a time that calls for pure solidarity.  In the work of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, the Southern Piedmont Circle strives to foster strong intercultural relationships with all of our neighbors to build power and unity for the advancement of solid and lasting equity and social justice.  We are planning for the New Year Cultural Feast to be an opportunity to get to know each other better and start us off moving forward together in 2024!

-Their plan is to organize the Community in matters affecting people in poverty

-Offering people an opportunity to share about their org & share plans for the 2024 election process



Autumn Weil, MSML, CFRE | Cell: 980.272.8465 | Office: 704.333.8099

Executive Director 

International House has three Job Openings. View them HERE as well as on LinkedIn


Paul McAllister |

-Exploring the rise of radical Christian nationalism and religious extremism – how we got here and where are we headed.-Watershed Charlotte is hosting this event - Thursday, 1/11 – panels start at 1 pm

-Sign up for the Non-partisan event HERE



CT Anderson

Founder and Creative Director, Springclean 


-Nonprofit that attempts to eliminate textile waste

-Environmental focus

-Looking for folks to come and work for them (Sowers and crafters)




Erin Mills, MA, MACE | | (M) 704) 609-3584

Program Associate, Center for Social Justice and Reconciliation

Reimagining America Project (RAP) |

Invites ALL to the following events:

January 8 & 9: 2024 African American Social Justice Preaching Series

January 16 & 30: Caring w/Strength & Unity: Improving Maternal Health for Black Women February 1: Climate Justice: How It Helps us All

NOT JUST A HEADLINE: Stories from Palestine

Duha Hamed |

Shireen Alborno |

Join us for an evening of storytelling and poetry from Palestinians, interfaith communities and friends in solidarity on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 6 PM at Bilal Hall (7025 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28215)


“If I must die,

you must live

to tell my story…”

⁃ Ref’at Al-Areer (1979-2023)

In the midst of our heart wrenching pain, we invite you to an evening of storytelling and poetry from the Palestinian, interfaith communities, and friends in solidarity. We invite you to hear our memories, experiences, and hopes for Palestine. We invite you to witness, listen with an open heart and share our hopes and dreams. We are not numbers. We are not a headline. We are grandparents, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters. We are human. 


For decades, Palestinian narratives have been reduced to news headlines, charts, and statistics. The erasure of Palestinian stories from the public space is part of the dehumanization of Palestinians. In this event, we disrupt the disconnect between the media’s representations of Palestinians and their lived realities.


In this public event, “Not Just a Headline: Stories from Palestine,” we amplify the voices of Palestinians in the diaspora and friends in solidarity. Some of our speakers are Palestinian Americans who’ve lived or traveled in Palestine. Some speakers are friends from the interfaith community, who have led educational and interfaith trips to the holy land for decades. 


We may not be able to end this war, but we have a moral duty to witness the stories of Palestinians’ hope, resilience, and heartbreak. Please share this event with your friends, families, churches, temples, synagogues and broader networks. RSVP for this event HERE.


EAP (Enrollment Assistance Program)


Rita M. Dominguez, MPH, CHES® | | (P) 336-518-0904

Community Outreach Specialist – North Carolina- EAP

3110 Fairview Park Drive, Suite 800 | Falls Church, VA 22042

The Open Enrollment/Insurance enrollment ends January 16th. Our Certified Assisters will be available to provide FREE and Impartial assistance to consumers about marketplace application process, Medicaid Expansion and answer any question. Please confirm.


-Ensure and assists equity access for everyone

-Enrollment assistance up to Jan 16th to help with Marketplace applications

-In Mecklenburg and Guilford County




Monica Aguilera |

You are invited to view the Anxious Nation documentary on Wednesday, January 31 at 6pm in the Commons at Matthews UMC. There will be a panel discussion following the viewing with Tessa Martin, M.ED, ED.S, LCMHA and Ian Murray, M.ED, LCMHC, Southeast Psych.

This documentary is appropriate for middle and high school youth. Parents and other interested adults are encouraged to attend. In 2022, the United States surgeon general warned of a mental health crisis among adolescents, especially anxiety disorders. The Anxious Nation documentary lifts the shroud of shame around mental health while giving insights into how anxiety shows up in our kids’ lives, impacts families and what parents’ contributing role may be. We learn, as well, what can be done to mitigate its awful consequences. The filmmakers offer insights into how we got here and what we can do to harness anxious energy for good.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, growing numbers of young people were experiencing high rates of clinical-level anxiety. About 11.6% of kids had anxiety in 2012, up 20% from 2007. But during the pandemic, those numbers nearly doubled such that 20.5% of youth worldwide now struggle with anxiety symptoms, according to a meta-analysis of 29 studies reported in JAMA Pediatrics (Vol. 175, No. 11, 2021). Besides COVID-related stressors like social isolation, missed milestones, and increased family tension, background stressors such as school shootings, political unrest, and the war in Ukraine & Israel have likely fueled these increases.


Lois Johnson |

Chair of the Charlotte Convocation of the Episcopal Church Women

Join us for a private showing of the documentary, A Case For Love on January 23, at the 20 AMC Theater in Concord Hills Mall featuring the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. The documentary is featured with Al Roker. It is a Premiere Seating begins at 5:30.

For details and purchasing $ 25tickets visit HERE




Jennifer Rupp | Rise 2 Work | Mecklenburg County Government (

-Mecklenburg Employment Services & Social Services-Try to meet people where they are and get them sustainable training that allows them a just pay-OPEN to everyone: Come and get resource info about all the training available


Sunday Shobowale |


Stephanie Malloy, MHA,RHIA | | (O) 704.248.3739 | (M) 980.425.0681

Director of Programs  | Care Ring | Website:

601 E. 5th Street, Suite 140 | Charlotte, NC  28202

-They have 3 Mobile Health Units in 3 locations in CLT:

  1. 7/11 801 N Wendover Rd from 12 - 4 PM every Tuesday

  2. ABC Store @ 2915 Wilkinson Blvd from 12 - 4 PM every Wednesday

  3. Block Love @ 2740 N Graham St from 12 - 4 PM every Thursday

-They are able to make referrals w/ Loaves & Fishes


Kobie Wright |

Pamela Pearson | Email:  | 704-641-4845

National Voter ID Assistance Director & Deputy General Counsel

-Mission: Every eligible voter has his/her ID that makes him/her eligible to cast their ballot

-Confusion makes people less likely to vote – Vote Riders helps ride down those barriers

-Partner w/orgs that are serving people in other areas to help them manage their needs for ID’s

-Have a need for volunteers – they provide for training and pay for the cost of ID obtainment



Avery Payne | | (980) 900-7364 |

Diaper Bank of North Carolina |

Branch Director – Greater Charlotte Area | Equity & Inclusion Director (State-wide)

-Opened in 2022

-Over 56,000 diapers were distributed in 2022 & 365,000 in 2023. This distribution only addresses 3.6% of diapers in the area

-Trying to change lives a single diaper at a time


We are hosting a "Partner Forum" at Galilee on January 25 that I'd like to get the word out about. There will be "vendors" such as FFTC and United Way that offer mentoring, board development, grants, etc. There will also be a few short presentations from newish but growing non-profits to talk about their struggles and successes, as well as networking. 



Register HERE



Gilmara Johnson  |

International Center Director | Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools International Center  

4000 Applegate Rd  |  Charlotte, NC 28209  |  Courier #670

Ph: 980-343-9425 |  Fax: 980-343-1003  | Cell Phone: 704-778-7546

The CMS International Center (4000 Applegate Rd.) is in need of school supplies. Please contact  Gilmara Johnson if you would like to donate.

Also they will be relocating to 7030 Nations Ford Rd on February 20.


-Provides low income homeowners with home repairs

-Have closed applications due to high demand - any new ones will be reviewed in March

-Volunteer opportunities available

3. General Information




The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has a website, bilingual toolkit and a sign-up form to stay updated on the most current information about how more North Carolinians will be able to get health coverage through NC Medicaid. You can use these tools with your networks and communities. 

The bilingual toolkit includes: 

·  Day 1 Flyer: An overview of who is eligible and how to enroll.

·  Newsletter Template: Content to include in your newsletters and emails.

·  Social Media: Graphics and posts to share on your channels. 

·  Family Planning Flyer: Information for the approximately 300,000 people who receive limited benefits through Family Planning Medicaid who will be automatically enrolled in full Medicaid. 

·  Medicaid Essentials Deck: A presentation to share with your community on who is eligible and how to enroll.

·  FAQ: Answers to common questions.

·  ePass Video: An overview of how to apply online through ePass. 


How to Apply to Medicaid:

·  You can apply online through ePASS a secure, self-service website at When you apply online, you can avoid having to go in person to your local Department of Social Services (DSS) office. If your application is complete, it may be processed faster.

·  If you cannot apply online, you can apply in person at your local DSS office, by calling your local DSS office or by mailing in a paper application available at To find your local DSS office, go to


Automatic Enrollment into Medicaid:

·  People already enrolled in Medicaid’s limited Family Planning Program who are eligible will be automatically moved to full Medicaid expansion benefits. Those who are eligible for full Medicaid benefits will:

Get a letter from your local Department of Social Services (DSS) letting you know that you will start getting full Medicaid coverage. 

Be assigned a health plan. If you want to change your health plan, you have 90 days to pick a new one. 

Receive a packet from your health plan in the mail. It will include a new Medicaid ID card. Your ID card also has the name of your primary care doctor. You can change the doctor that was assigned to you by contacting your health plan. 

Need to cancel your plan if you have health coverage through You can do that by logging into your account or calling 1-800-318-2596. Do not cancel your plan until you receive information from your new health plan through Medicaid.

What additional help is available for those with questions about Medicaid expansion or who need help enrolling?

·  All Medicaid enrollment activities are conducted by NCDHHS. Information on eligibility and the process for enrolling as well as answers to common questions are available on NCDHHS’s website. 

·  To stay updated with the latest information and receive the newest resources from NCDHHS, complete this sign-up form.

·  Information on Medicaid managed care plans are available through the 

·  Marketplace customers can visit or call the Marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596. Marketplace customers who are TTY users can call 1-855-889-4325.



SONGS OF HOPE AND FREEDOM, Weekend of January 20-21

Special Musical Event: Songs of Hope and Freedom with Reggie Harris, an interactive music workshop from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024. Join us to enrich our worship and fellowship with this special musical event. No singing or musical ability required! 

An expert on the music of the Underground Railroad and the modern Civil Rights Movement, Mr. Harris will teach us songs that together, we can make a part of our regular worship service. Among his many awards are the Spirit of Folk Award and the W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Award. He is also a teaching artist in an education program for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and a Woodrow Wilson scholar. Read more on Reggie Harris’s website

Mr. Harris will also join us for worship on Sunday, Jan. 21. 


This event is sponsored by the Racial Justice and Equity Committee. 

Please share this with others inspired by hope and freedom.

OTHERS ON THE CALL (as time allows)



Prayer for America

O Thou kind Lord!

This gathering is turning to Thee.

These hearts are radiant with Thy love.

These minds and spirits are exhilarated by the message of Thy glad-tidings.

O God! Let this American democracy become glorious in spiritual degrees even as it has aspired to material degrees, and render this just government victorious.

Confirm this revered nation to upraise the standard of the oneness of humanity, to promulgate the Most Great Peace, to become thereby most glorious and praiseworthy among all the nations of the world.

O God! This American nation is worthy of Thy favors and is deserving of Thy mercy.

Make it precious and near to Thee through Thy bounty and bestowal.


Next meeting:

Thursday, January 18 at 11 a.m.

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