Almost a year ago, a Charlotte man knew he had a desire to help heal the pain many citizens felt after the death of Keith Lamont Scott. “After the protest and the riots from last year, I wanted to address the problems and wounds of the city,” Greg Jackson, founder of Heal Charlotte, said. “Not only address them, but attend to the wounds so we can heal from it.”
Since the birth of Heal Charlotte, Jackson and co-founder Antuan Smith, have worked with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to implement new training that was based on protest reenactments. Additionally, 40 CMPD officers were handpicked for the department’s new “Constructive Conversation” team. The overall goal is to forge a better relationship between the public and police.
“The awareness and urgency to fix issues has risen to an all-time high,” Jackson said.
However, Jackson said that the community needs to continue to be more active in solving problems in the community. “I expect people to not only find issues but help fix them. Only the community can save the community,” he said.
Heal Charlotte has broadened their work to assist children in the Orchard Trace community. “We started a youth camp where we serve 40 kids after school,” Jackson said. Some of those same children were able to attend summer youth camps free of charge through an association with the YMCA.
“I feel like the good people are finding the good people,” Jackson said.
Heal Charlotte and a number of other nonprofits in the area have organized "The Day of Healing" scheduled for Sat., Sept. 23 at Marshall Park from noon - 4 p.m. "We will use the day to recognize the good work that has been done all year and the great work that will continue," Jackson said.
This family-friendly event will have free food, live music, games and bounce houses.
"I want to see the city come out and show the rest of the nation what we really look like," Jackson said. "We're no longer sweeping problems under the rug."
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