Coalition for Strengthening Community Education in Charlotte Formed
The mission of the Coalition for Strengthening Community Education in Charlotte (CSCEC) is to educate parents and the community at-large around issues of inclusion, diversity, and equity as it relates to the local public education system and the impact that these issues have on children's future.
Currently, the CSCEC Steering Committee consists of 11 members representing E.E. Waddell High School, University Park Elementary School, Oakhurst Elementary School, Bishop Spaugh Middle School, Lincoln Heights Elementary School and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Rev. Mildred McCullough chairs the committee.
The idea for the CSCEC originated during a meeting (Ndaba) hosted by local community activists on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University. Ndaba, or great sitting down, is a community forum which is common in African tradition and practices the principle of consensus. The University's Center for Applied Leadership and Community Development served in the role of facilitator.
"We want our children to get a first-rate education and become productive citizens, said Rev. Mildred McCullough, Community Activist. "We also want healthy neighborhoods and feel that we should not have to sacrifice one to have the other."
Initial goals of the CSCEC include:
- Lobbying locally at the state and national levels to have authentic discussions addressing the impact school closing decisions have on the lives of area parents and their children and the community at large
- Encourage officials to be more inclusive of the entire community by setting their meeting schedules so that they are convenient for the majority of parents and residents to attend
- Discuss ways so that information can be shared more efficiently to keep parents, students, and the community informed while working towards a better education system.
"Since the establishment of the Center for Applied Leadership and Community Development, Johnson C. Smith University has partnered with local community leaders and organizations to help them become champions of issues they feel need more attention in the community and in mainstream media," said Sherrill Hampton, Director, Center for Applied Leadership and Community Development. "As a facilitator and technical assistance provider, the University recognizes the importance of community dialog and citizen empowerment in order to work toward viable solutions."
The CSCEC held its inaugural meeting on February 6, 2011, at Johnson C. Smith University. To learn more about the CSCEC, please contact Rev. Mildred McCullough at (704) 379-7544.