The Impact of Segregation

The Impact of Segregation

Data clearly emphasizes Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s profound segregation by both race and income, and how significant a barrier it is to opportunity.

Segregation stands apart as a cross-cutting factor because it is foundational to everything else. Not only are we segregated by race and ethnicity, we are also segregated by wealth and poverty. Maps of our county consistently reflect a “crescent” of lower-opportunity neighborhoods dominated by people of color in contrast with a “wedge” of white, wealthier residents in south and north Mecklenburg.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg has a deep history of segregation and discrimination that has manifested in community and neighborhood development over the years, and patterns of isolation that have evolved. Recent research indicates that this racial and economic segregation has deepened the gap in opportunity, despite many advancements in becoming a more inclusive community. Segregation is particularly difficult as it is a barrier that we, as a part of larger American society, have little practice in confronting openly and intentionally.

The longer we permit our current systems, policies and institutions to remain unchanged and implicit bias to play a role, the more lasting these trends will become—only exacerbating the divide in our community. The recent police shooting and subsequent protests focused our collective attention on the stark divide that exists. We may have inherited the obstacles to opportunity put in place over generations, but we have the power and responsibility to ensure this same inheritance is not passed on to our children and youth.

Strategies to Address Impact of Segregation

  • Strategy A/1

    Acknowledge the significant roles segregation and racialization have played in our current opportunity narrative and commit to becoming a more inclusive, fair, and just community.

  • Strategy B/2

    Address the complex, multi-faceted issue of school segregation with a systems approach.

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Agents of Change

Leading on Opportunity works alongside community to reduce the impact of segregation, fostering inclusion and equity.

Don Thomas

Community Impact Director

Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter, Ph.D.

Executive Director

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$70 Million for Affordable Housing in Charlotte

Charlotte Observer • Eli Portillo - January 15, 2019

Three major financial institutions are pledging more than $70 million to fund low-income housing developments in Charlotte, giving a boost to the city’s efforts to keep up with the fast-rising costs of renting or buying a home. Bank of America, Ally Financial and Barings said they will invest a combined $70.75 million through a series of initiatives. The bulk of it, $50 million, will be in the form of low-interest loans to private developers building income-restricted housing.

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Community Impact Director Speaks to Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners at Budget Priority Public Hearing

Yuly Rodriguez, Community Impact Director, Leading on Opportunity - January 15, 2019

It is now our opportunity to rally behind our community, which in part includes the Latinx community, that represents one quarter of the children entering kindergarten in Charlotte every year - about 3,000 children.

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Leading on Opportunity's Executive Director Reflects on Tradition

Creative Mornings CLT • Matt Olin - December 7, 2018

On Friday, December 7, 2018, hundreds of creative Charlotteans packed the halls of LaCa Projects – to explore the global theme of “Tradition.” As Executive Director of Leading on Opportunity, Dr. Cooper-Lewter’s talk is a timely and moving meditation on what it takes to create new Traditions that will lift up everyone in our community.

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NC Justice Summit

February 22, 2019

NC Justice Summit

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Join Our Community Impact Alliance Convening & Opportunity Café

March 04, 2019

Join Our Community Impact Alliance Convening & Opportunity Café

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Leading on Opportunity Executive Director Plenary Speaker at Movement Day Charlotte

March 16, 2019

Leading on Opportunity Executive Director Plenary Speaker at Movement Day Charlotte

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