What is Queen City Unity?
You may have seen us in the community helping those in need. You may have seen us on social media. Or you may have just ran into someone in Charlotte wearing a Queen City Unity T-Shirt. But what is Queen City Unity? It's a question that comes up a lot. Queen City Unity is a homegrown Charlotte based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our mission statement is:
"To drive equity and equality for all in Charlotte, NC."
But how did our organization begin and how do we plan to impact the city of Charlotte? Immediately following the civil unrest of 2016, a group of colleagues met to discuss the events that had just transpired. At the time, this group of 7 individuals didn't know what they were going to do, but they knew that something had to be done. By the end of their first meeting they had the mission statement. After several meetings, they had developed a robust list of community initiatives to drive equality and make Charlotte an equitable city for all of its residents. That list of initiatives came to be known as the 4 Pillars of Unity, which are Queen City Unity's core initiatives. Over a year later Queen City Unity is composed of over 100 volunteers, or as we call them, Queen City Unity Ambassadors that have really made a major impact in the community.
So what are these core initiatives we call the 4 Pillars of Unity?
Pillar #1- Serve the Community
Queen City Unity works alongside other nonprofit organizations in Charlotte, and its surrounding areas, to drive their mission statements and provide a pool of volunteers in the community. Additionally, we host our own charitable activities such as several homeless care bag distributions throughout the year, collecting coats/sock/pajamas during the winter months for the foster children in Charlotte, and we are the official Donation Pick Up Program for WSOC-TV 9's Food Drive, Classroom Central, and WSOC-TV 9's School Tools Program. We firmly believe that we can unite our community through acts of kindness, and create a sense of oneness in Charlotte.
Pillar #2- Community Programs
In 2018, Queen City Unity will introduce two community programs that will combat the socioeconomic issues in our community that have created division for generations. A study by researchers at Harvard University and UC Berkeley ranked the Charlotte area last, and 50th out of 50 cities for economic mobility. These newly introduced programs will focus on providing those who struggle every day the tools that they need to live sustainable, fruitful, and productive lives.
A program designed for the youth between the ages of 11 – 17 years old. This 12 week course provides the participants with diversity education, financial literacy courses, and leadership development. The groups will be composed of children from different schools in Charlotte, and it will also provide the youth with ongoing mentorship. Once the students graduate from the program, they will become Queen City Unity Ambassadors and will take what they have learned back to their schools. By bringing the diverse youth of Charlotte together, allowing them to interact with one another, and providing them the tools that they need to be leaders in our community, we can make a major impact on the future of our city.
There is no greater divider than socioeconomic divide. In Charlotte, 96% of those born into poverty will struggle to move upwardly economically and may never escape poverty. This program looks to break the socioeconomic cycle that has plagued us for decades. The program will provide those below, at, or slightly above the poverty line with the following.
Vocational and technical courses
Career search counseling
Mock interviews/Interview practice and role plays
Ongoing career mentorship
Bank account management/budgeting
Credit improvement mentoring
Saving for the future (401k, investments, etc.)
Home ownership courses and assistance
The Charlotte FORWARD program is not a course, but rather a lifelong commitment to the residents of Charlotte. It is a one stop shop for those living in poverty. By providing them the skills necessary to succeed, and ongoing mentorship, we can improve the economic mobility issues in the Queen City.
Pillar #3-Community engagement
Queen City Unity hosts community events that promote equality and equity in Charlotte, and bring people together of all backgrounds and lifestyles. Our signature event is The Charlotte UNITE Festival. A multicultural festival dedicated to celebrating our diversity in Charlotte. The festival includes music from local artists of all backgrounds, guest speakers, and food from different cultures in our city. The first step to bring people together, is to literally bring them together to experience each other's cultures. The Charlotte UNITE Festival is an annual festival that takes place every year during the fall.
Pillar #4- Advocacy
It is part of our mission to advocate for those who have been discriminated against, are suffering due to inequality and inequities, or simply need a voice in our community.
Thanks to the great support of our community, we have made progress, but there is so much more to do. So how can you help?
Your community needs your support. By making a tax deductible donation to Queen City Unity you can make a difference. All donations will go directly into the 4 Pillars of Unity and to the programs within them. We humbly ask that you consider making a donation and continue to support our mission of a diverse, equal, and prosperous Charlotte.