Charlotte is the first location in our poverty series. Our report, "Economic Hardship, Racialized Concentrated Poverty, and the Challenges of Low-Wage Work," may surprise, given the Queen City's reputation as a business powerhouse. But racial and economic divides show that Charlotte’s enviable growth is not widely shared. Our report confirms both its strengths and its challenges. It generates tremendous prosperity. But its tangled confluence of poverty, racial disparity, segregation in housing and education, neighborhood disadvantage, and labor market segmentation relegates many residents to the sidelines. If unchecked, such trends will impair Charlotte’s prospects and increasingly wound the dignity and opportunity of large numbers of the city’s residents.
The racial and economic divides that cleave Charlotte were evident in the aftermath of the police shooting death of Keith Scott in the fall of 2016. Many in the regional and national media turned to our report to gain insight into events in Charlotte. These included the NY Times, CNN Money, the LA Times, CBS News, the Christian Science Monitor, Mashable, The Atlantic, the Charlotte Observer, the Wall Street Journal and UNC's own Daily Tar Heel.
More broadly, Gene Nichol spoke at an event organized by Black Lives Matter Charlotte and has commented widely on Charlotte in numerous venues:
A homegrown effort, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force, issued a report in the spring of 2017 that echoed many of these same themes, especially on the lasting and pervasive harms of segregation by race and income.