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March 28, 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

Allah on this day grant me wisdom and awareness; keep me away from foolishness and pretension, grant me a share in every blessing you send down, by your generosity, or the most generous.

 

 


1. MeckMIN Updates


A NOTE ABOUT THESE MEETINGS


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.


 


WHO ARE WE AND WHAT WE DO

 






OUR 2024 CALENDAR





CATERING FOR GOOD

 

We would love to have your suggestions for local caterers whose work directly supports good work in the community – e.g. Dahlia Grove.

 



NOTES FROM FAITH LEADER MEETING W/MAYOR LYLES, COUNCIL WOMEN MAYFIELD, & THE CMPD CHIEF OF POLICE JOHNNY JENNINGS



Notes from Faith Leader Meeting with Mayor Lyles, Council Women Mayfield, and the CMPD Chief of Police Johnny Jennings


Chief Jennings shared several updates from our last meeting.  

·  They are working to fill the available positions that need to be filled at CPMD.  When we last met they had several vacancies that needed to be filled. He feels confident that they are about to close the gap.      

·  There were questions raised about clergy, faith leaders, and houses of worship.  He suggested engaging by calling 911 and filing a police report no matter how minor the incident.  

·  There were concerns raised about the safety of clergy and faith leaders while supporting protests and direct actions. There were issues in 2016 and 2020, for those of you may remember. Chief Jennings said that many improvements as it relates to supporting protests, given mistakes were made in the past.  Faith Leaders shared that we met with CMPD before the night Justine Carr was killed, but there wasn't a lot of coordination and CMPD.  Jennings shared that would like to continue to connect and work together. 

·  We also talked about the need for more community connections with the community and CMPD.  The Chief mentions that he shared with President Biden that we need to continue to work on the image of policing around the country to attract more diverse and qualified candidates.  


Mayor Lyles and Councilwoman Mayfield shared the housing update that you can find in the attached slides.  

 

The notable announcement was the Faith in Housing initiative, the City of Charlotte intends to work in partnership with the Faith Community to address affordable housing. 

 

See the slides below.

 




We will continue to share information as we are informed. Also, we are planning for two more meetings with the city before the end of the year. Stay tuned and we will let you know when those meetings be taking place as soon as possible. Also, please feel free to share updates with others from the faith community. 

 

Thanks,

 

Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice and MeckMIN



2024 COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS BREAKFAST


Awards Breakfast coming up: Nominations are IN, time to SPONSOR!!

May 2nd from 7:30 – 9 AM at Friendship Missionary Baptist




Presenting sponsor: $5000

Bridge Builder award sponsor: $3000

Community Leader Award sponsor: $3000

Beth Wells Interfaith Service Award sponsor: $3000

Sustaining Sponsorship: $1200

Table Sponsor: $600

Half Table Sponsor: $300


 



 


2024 Youth Events 



INTERFAITH YOUTH PANEL


-Our 3rd year doing it

-High schoolers from a variety of faiths sharing everything from their favorite faith holiday to where they regularly experience discrimination

-Great event – wonderful opportunity to get youth started on thinking about religious diversity


Let us know who your youth leader is so we can loop them in and include your youth in these events. Ledayne@meckmin.org



MeckMIN + JustServe SERVICE PROJECT Latin American Coalition/La Coalition Newcomers Resource Fair | April 13


Join us on Saturday, April 13 at the Latin American Coalition for a Newcomers Resource Fair. Looking for volunteers to help with food, medicine and clothes distribution and craft making with children. English and Spanish speaking volunteers are welcome. Families welcome with children old enough to help.

 

Due to great response, only one time shift still needs volunteers: 12:00 - 2:00 PM 


-Spots available after 2 PM and for cleanup




NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION TRAINING


Sunday April 14 | 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. | Baha'í Center of Charlotte




Anyone interested in better communication, especially in the midst of disagreement and conflict, is invited to join us for this two-hour training. Save the date and watch for registration details soon.  

 

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a form of compassionate communication that can help de-escalate and transform interpersonal, inter-group, workplace, and organizational conflicts. It is used worldwide by individuals, activists, educators, conflict specialists, diplomats, social workers, managers and others. Practicing NVC can enable us to understand ourselves, our feelings, and our needs more deeply—and open our hearts to better connect and collaborate with others. It creates a path for healing and reconciliation in many settings, including but not limited to intimate relationships, work settings, and academic settings. Participants explore empathy as a tool for transforming conflicts.


Register HERE


Sal Corbin will lead the workshop. He has worked for 15 years in academia as a Psychology Professor before transitioning to nonprofit work. He has done workforce development training and program management and is now a Training Coordinator for the Maryland Harm Reduction Institute with the Behavioral Health System of Baltimore, and Board Chair for the DC Peace Team. His vision is to help others build and maintain healthy relationships with conflict transformation as the primary focus. His extensive background in leadership facilitation supports his efforts to keep showing up and sharing. He holds degrees in Clinical (M.S.) and Educational (PhD) Psychology.




NEXT MECKMIN FAITH LEADER NETWORKING LUNCH

APRIL 18 | 11:30 AM | Union Presbyterian Seminary

 

REGISTER NOW for the next event which will be Thursday, April 18 from 11:30 a.m.  to 1:00 p.m. at Union Seminary (5141 Sharon Rd Charlotte, NC 28210). We have a GREAT SPEAKER lined up who will be a perfect follow-up to Dr. Thumma's presentation.  We all enjoyed SO MUCH the opportunity to come together - so this will be another great opportunity to gather together and to learn. More details soon -- we hope you'll put this on your calendar now. 



MOVING MOUNTAINS IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD

Lesson in Demolition and Construction for Faith Leaders

 

In this season of change and uncertainty, communities of faith are facing unprecedented challenges.  The call to question, reimagine and shift things long-believed to be foundational can be difficult.  Bishop Rawls' work over the past 25 years has centered culture shifts in communities of faith and the broader community.  She will be sharing some case studies and tools that can be considered when taking your work to the next level.




NEWSLETTER

If you are not yet receiving our regular email newsletter be sure and sign up here: https://www.meckmin.org/contact-us




THURSDAY MEETING MINUTES

If you are not getting the link to meeting minutes and want to sign up, just email meckmin@meckmin.org.




COMMUNITY HEALTH UPDATES

 

HEALTH DEPARTMENT UPDATE

 

Covid-19 Response Unit Director


GOOD NEWS! Seen a drop in the amount of Covid transmission which is good as we are in a season of major religious gatherings


KEEP REMINDING PEOPLE:

-If somebody is sick – stay home

-If someone isn’t vaccinated – do so now



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.



PIEDMONT MUSIC THERAPY


 

 

Piedmont Music Therapy’s mission is to connect, play & grow with individuals of all ages and abilities through music therapy treatment, music lessons and educational programs centered around health and wellness in Mecklenburg and York Counties of the Carolinas.

 

It is a 501c3 status organization est. March 2023 with requests for support through referrals and partnerships, and board representation. PMT is open to faith-based collaborations and is staffed by nationally board certified music therapists. Two images are attached with logo and catchment area detailed. Community members in MeckMIN are invited to subscribe to our monthly newsletter here.

 




LATIN AMERICANS WORKING FOR ACHIEVEMENT (LAWA) EXECUTIVE SEARCH


Tanya Varanelli | TVconsulting704@gmail.com | Phone: ‪(704) 625-6167 

Consultant to Nonprofits and Social Impact FirmsEmail

 

I am partnering with LAWA on their search for a new executive leader. Would it be possible to join the call tomorrow to share more about the opportunity? It is not a faith-based organization but focuses on supporting Latino youth with access to education and college scholarships.

 

-Latin Americans Working for Achievement (LAWA) has a yearly budget of about $500,000

-CEO job position opening

-Salary $80-85 with benefits – hoping to get the right candidate by May/June

-Looking for a well rounded individual working w/1st generation latinos and scholarship funding

 


 

POPPY MUSE

 

Tameka Mclean | tameka@poppymuse.org | 917.455.6229

Executive Director

Chapter 1: 2040 White Plains Rd, #1003, Bronx NY 10462

Chapter 2: 7014 Smith Corners Blvd, #1111, Charlotte NC 28269

 

Poppy Muse is a 501c3 foster care agency.  Their mission is to assist foster care youth in their transition into an adulthood of self-sufficiency.  They provide resources, advocacy, emergency displacement funding, and workshops geared towards the specific needs of foster care youth, and young adults.

 

-Aid in the transformation of young adults transitioning from foster care and aging out of care

-423,000 in foster youth in the US | 12,000 aging out in NC (YES, the amazing stat is correct!)

-focus on health and wellness

-Their team is comprised of former foster care residents

-Their goal is to eradicate harsh statistics for young people aging out of care e.g 22% youth that battle PTSD disorder

-Give them the necessary resources that aids them to avoid homelessness once they leave care

-Consider themselves a lifelong agency

-Needs: dedicated board members, grant writers, donations, facilitators, office space

-The poppy flower has the ability to grow under harsh conditions - denotes endurance & strength in the midst of trials and tribulations

 

 


MEDICAID EXPANSION

Germán Barriga | 980.402.8214 | german.barriga@healthybluenc.com

Community Relations - Multicultural             


-serves multi cultural population

-recently approved Medicaid expansion (Dec 23)

-More NC are now eligible – about 600,000 North Carolinians

-people b/w 19 and 64 might now be eligible

-income requirement is below $20,000/year

-emergency Medicaid is open to high risk patients (even those w/o a SSN)

-presentation is available in English and Spanish

-if anyone thinks that they are eligible – please encourage them to apply – social workers are available to speak and guide them through




F_MedicaidEXP Essentials_PostLaunch_English
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Download PDF • 1.06MB

F_Medicaid EXP.Essentials_PostLaunch_Spanish
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Download PDF • 1.18MB




VOLUNTEER NEED GROCERY HOME DELIVERY PROGRAM



Rachel Raquet | rraquet@nourishup.org | (704) 523-4333 Ext: 5899

Lead Grocery Program Coordinator | Nourish Up

648 Griffith Road, Suite B Charlotte, NC 28217

Mailing Address: PO Box 680791 Charlotte, NC 28216


Nourish Up – a network of emergency food pantries throughout Charlotte/Mecklenburg – is urgently requesting volunteers for the Grocery Home Delivery Program.


The Grocery Home Delivery program is for the most vulnerable clients who are homebound due to illness/disability, a lack of transportation, or lack of a support system to pick up food for them. It has expanded to become the organization’s largest and fastest growing program, serving around 2,000 individuals every month.


Unfortunately, the rise in client numbers has correlated with a drop in volunteers. As Nourish Up moves to their new building on April 8th, they are expecting to lose a few consistent volunteers in the process. So, help is needed more than ever.


Grocery Home Delivery runs every Tuesday - Saturday, using up to 15 volunteers each day.

The grocery pick-up is at the Nourish Up warehouse between 10 AM – 12 PM.

·         Until April 8th - pick up is at 648 Griffith Rd Suite B, Charlotte, NC 28217

·         After April 8th - pick up will be at 901 Carrier Dr., Charlotte, NC 28216

Drivers must have a cleared trunk and/or backseat. Each car with will be loaded with around 10-15 small boxes and 5-8 bags. Routes take 1-2 hours and will generally include 4-6 stops. It is a fantastic way to see a direct impact from volunteer time and will reshape how you view hunger as you see where our neighbors live.

Drivers must be 18 and be able to safely lift up to 25 pounds repetitively.


The Grocery Home Delivery Loader opportunity is available for anyone interested in being involved with the program but not able to or interested in driving. This opportunity remains in the warehouse.


For anyone interested, please visit https://nourishup.org/volunteer/ to sign-up. Please choose the Grocery Driver or Grocery Loader option.

Group volunteering for this opportunity is also available.

For any additional questions, please contact Rachel Raquet, Lead Grocery Program Coordinator, by email at rraquet@nourishup.org.

 

Please Note that Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays is now Nourish Up

 

 


CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PRAYER: PRAYER THAT REMOVES FEAR April 5 | 11 AM | 5301 Wilkinson Blvd





We are having our lecture on April 5 at the Good will center at 11 AM. I hope you can come if you're available.  The title is Prayer That Removes Fear. The idea is to have the lecture where resources are available, and couple faith with practical applications.

-Trying to partner faith with better practices

-a great opportunity for people who don’t think of themselves as ‘worthy”

-After the talk – people will be able to talk to career counselors and there’s even $$ for lunch for people coming in from the shelters

-5301 Wilkinson Blvd (plenty of parking)




OTHERS ON THE CALL (as time allows)



JUST FAITH UPCOMING PROGRAMS 


Kate Daenstadt | charlotte@justfaith.org | 704-412-8458


JustFaith Indigenous Justice program starting Tuesday April 9th for 8 weeks via Zoom from 7 to 9 PM. To register: https://justfaith.org/jf-charlotte-registration-page/

Fee is offered on a sliding scale and scholarships are offered.


The Land is Not Our Own Landscape Folded Booklet
.pdf
Download PDF • 2.83MB

Thanks to a grant from the Gaston Foundation we are working with North Carolina Council of Churches (NCCC) and InterFaith Power & Light to offer Eco-Justice programs (Sacred Land, Sacred Water & Sacred Air) for no cost. This will be launched in April.


-Will be organizing a Poverty simulation in August – plan to host from 50-80 people. We would like to invite anyone in the community to join us. More details to come.


For more information reach out to me via phone or email.




CHARLOTTE BILINGUAL PRESCHOOL ENTREPRENEUR FAIR | April 14

-need volunteers for set up at 9:30 am and clean up at 3 pm and child care

 


MEDAssist: Saturday, April 20 | 9 AM - 2 PM


– Get free over the counter medicine

– register and get what you need 






 

LATIN AMERICAN COALITION

-Needs backpacks, supplies for Newcomers Resource Fair Saturday, April 13




GENERAL INFORMATION



FREE PHONE OR TABLET FOR QUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS


Charlote Area Director

 

This is a program that offers a completely FREE phone or tablet, with one year of service, to individuals who meet the criteria listed in the link above. They can access more than a year of service if they resubscribe to the program when the initial year ends. Individuals who are undocumented are also eligible for this program, but may need to register through their child, using information from the national school free lunch program.  

 



PEER SUPPORT GROUP FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES


FREE Virtual Peer Support Group for ALL Ages!


Living Well in the Community is a 10-week virtual workshop made for people with disabilities, facilitated by people with disabilities designed to help you reach your goals for living well with information, peer support, and group activities.

 

This evidence-based workshop curriculum is made up of 10 sessions on the following topics: Goal Setting, Building Support, Healthy Reactions, Staying on Course, Healthy Communication, Seeking Information, Eating Well, Physical Activity, Advocacy & Maintenance.

 

This program is FREE and open to consumers of all ages living in Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Gaston or Union County. Click the link below for more information or to register.

 

 


2024 ELECTION TIP OF THE WEEK: NEW REPORT SHOWS WHY NONPROFIT VOTER ENGAGEMENT MATTERS

 


Throughout this year, the Center is offering a variety of tips for nonprofits about nonpartisan voter registration and voter education. Share these tips with your staff, board, and the people you serve.

 

This week’s tip: Nonprofits’ nonpartisan voter engagement activities make a significant, measurable impact on voter turnout in their communities. 

 

Nonprofit VOTE, a national partner of the Center, released its new Nonprofit Power report that highlights the impact of nonpartisan voter registration and voter education work by nonprofits in North Carolina and eight other states. Among other things, the report notes that people engaged by nonprofits are much more likely to actually vote. Specifically, in the 2022 election, 56% of people engaged by nonprofits turned out to vote, while only 46% of comparable registered voters actually voted in the election. The report also highlights that the boost in turnout is greatest among voters who are typically underrepresented at the polls, including low-income voters, people of color, and younger voters. 

 

The report makes a compelling case why your nonprofit should consider engaging in nonpartisan voter registration and voter education work this year. Nonprofit VOTE explains: “Put simply, this report is a call to action for nonprofits across the nation to engage the communities they serve in voting and elections because the data shows it works. It helps foster a more inclusive electorate. It makes for stronger and more effective nonprofits, and it builds a democracy that works for all of us.”

 

To learn more about the report, join Nonprofit VOTE for a free “Rally the Sector” webinar on Thursday, March 28 at 2 p.m.

 





FISCAL RECOVERY FUNDS STILL AVAILABLE (But Time Is Running Out)


State and local governments only have until the end of 2024 to obligate any remaining funds they received under the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) that was enacted three years ago as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Unless counties, cities, and towns use the dollars, they lose them (as in sending the money back to the federal government). The NonProfit Times article, Seizing the Moment: Nonprofits Urged to Tap into Remaining American Rescue Plan Act Funds, lays out the resource development and advocacy steps for nonprofits to take with government officials to secure funds to advance missions. In addition, the National Council of Nonprofits has posted information on how nonprofits can access these ARPA funds, including background information about ARPA funding for state and local governments, nonprofit-specific answers to FAQs, and a template message for reaching out to government officials. Note: The claw back of unused COVID funding mentioned in the first item in today’s Nonprofit Policy Update does not include reductions in SLFRF funds.



LIVING ARCHIVES


Debbie Rubenstein | drubenstein@cmlibrary.org | 704-998-9579


I’m reaching out because you and your organization were a part of the Living Archives project. Maybe you were interviewed or maybe we just talked about whether collaboration was possible. Either way, I am so proud to share that we collected nearly 350 stories of pandemic life from Mecklenburg residents for permanent archiving at the CM Library.  These voices, poems, and art will be available in perpetuity and we are honored by the trust that was extended to us. 

 

WE couldn’t keep the stories to ourselves so we created an 8-stop traveling exhibit to share 24 of the voices in video and in display form.  Three of these traveling exhibits have already cycled and we want to be sure to promote and share the remaining ones as widely as possible.  Each exhibit is accompanied by  an event featuring a panel, refreshments and raffles for gift cards.  


They are:

West Boulevard Public Library – April 2-15

Independence Regional Library April 5-18

University Library Branch April 16-28

Marion Diehl Recreation Center April 30-May 13

South Blvd Library Branch April 19-May 13

 

Each exhibit will feature a one time only special event with panelists, food and a raffle.  The next event is April 6th at West Blvd and will feature local artist and business owners Larry and Kelly Taylor of Smoke and Repeats, SanTae and SanWone Benjamin, twin onwers of Dance company Twin Nation and Shamaiye Haynes, co-Executive Director of Queen City Family Tree.

 

You can find invitations for all the remaining events HERE

Feel free to download these graphics and share on your social media if appropriate or share with your colleagues. I have also attached a full list of ALL the events and exhibits.

 

Two additional events that may be of particular interest: April 11th at Lions Services (4600 Tryon) we are unveiling a permanent mural celebrating the storytellers and our collective endurance through the pandemic. Come out from 11:30 – 1:30 for celebration and song.  And on May 16th we are hosting a county-wide celebration at Discovery Place uptown.  We hope to see everyone there as Hannah Hasan and other artists gather to share and inspire us to continue forward.

 

Please reach out with any questions.

 






CITY OF CHARLOTTE YOUTH SURVEY



The City of Charlotte is currently conducting a survey to ask youth ages 13-17 to share their thoughts regarding a variety of safety topics, including school and community safety. The survey will be open until May 6, 2024, and the goal is to have as many youth voices represented as possible. Please share this survey with youth and/or youth organizations in your network. If you have any questions or would like to invite someone from the city to attend an upcoming youth event to promote this survey, please call 704-336-3380 or email hnsinfo@charlottenc.gov.

 

Scan the QR Code below or visit: https://arcg.is/a8rqv to complete the survey by May 6.


 

PRAYER FOR NONPROFIT LEADERS


Allah on this day, strengthen me in carrying out your commands; let me taste the sweetness of your remembrance, grant me, through your graciousness, that I give thanks to you. Protect me, with your protection and cover, O the most discerning of those who see.

 


Next meeting – Two weeks from today - Thursday at 11 a.m. 








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