Alumnus, city councilman appointed chair of COVID-19 task force

Malcolm Graham ’85

Charlotte, N.C. / June 3, 2020 - Many Johnson C. Smith University alumni are working to make a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic, including Charlotte City councilman Malcolm Graham ’85, who serves District 2. Graham is the chair of Charlotte’s COVID-19 Housing Task Force, which provides relief for rent and mortgages, in addition to assisting the city’s homeless population.

“I take it seriously to be a representative of the community, to speak truth to power, to be factual, but also to be prepared and that preparedness started on the campus of JCSU,” Graham said.

Although the pandemic has limited Graham from having in-person contact with constituents, he has found new ways to reach the people he serves. Since March, he has hosted a number of virtual community conference calls and recently held a town hall meeting using Facebook live. Graham has also appeared on CNN where he spoke on the efforts the city is taking to keep residents safe during COVID-19. 

“I majored in political science and always knew I wanted to be involved in public affairs. When you see me on TV you see the foundation of who I am and that started for me at Smith.” 

That is the reason why Graham continues to give back to his alma mater and encourage students who are preparing to embark on their careers to, “Keep the faith and do the work.”  

As we continue to deal with COVID-19, Graham is urging members of the community to continue practicing social distancing and get tested if they're showing symptoms. “This virus is a marathon, not a sprint, it's going to be with us for a while.”

In addition to resources provided by the task force, small business owners in the community can take advantage of loans and grants offered, as well as educate themselves on COVID-19 guidelines on the city’s website

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