“What we can’t do is continue pretending that headlines, hand-wringing, a lack of diverse thinking, anger, studies, politicians, enabling and spending other people’s money will create the solutions.”
“The thinking used to be, you put some architects on there. And you’d want to have a real estate investor, or a developer, or someone who’s a real estate agent, or you’d have some prominent business owner,” says Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer. “We’ve recognized that you need a Planning and Zoning Commission that’s more reflective of your community.”
Leaders at the Explore Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau are looking for new approaches to put the city on the map as a diverse destination by tapping into Asheville’s rich Black history and Black entrepreneurs.
“If we take away support from our public schools, it will lead to wide inequity and discrimination.”
“This raises the question of what funds are being used for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion and how they can be better allocated all around to create a positive cycle of change.”
“Apparently, Asheville has earned the dishonorable distinction of placing in the top 10% of most violent cities in the entire country.”
“In the area of diversity in hiring, Asheville is just as segregated, racist and unequal as it ever was, and while whites promote Asheville as a tourist and artistic mecca, African Americans are still cleaning rooms in expensive hotels instead of front desk or management positions and not being hired in banks, restaurants and trendy bars in downtown, Biltmore and West Asheville.”
“You won’t see us at MAGA rallies, but we are deeply concerned about making America better.”
“I was shocked and dismayed by the optics when, while watching the Michael Cohen congressional hearing, Mark Meadows, our own 11th District representative, paraded an African-American lady before the assemblage like a life-size cardboard cutout.”
Readers, you had a lot to say about local politics and civic goings-on in the region this year. From tourism and development to bears and the county government scandal, here’s a look back at some of the hot topics that sparked your opinions.
“I recently walked around the whole area and found only one African-American face, and that was on one brochure, of what seemed like hundreds, for a county assistance agency. What does that say to a black resident or visitor?”
“Most urgently, gentrification is creating a demand for buildable lots and houses within the city limits that is invading our historic African-American neighborhoods and displacing lifelong residents who have been here for generations.”
In her experience, says Leslie Council Lake, the leaders of predominantly white organizations too often address diversity with the best of intentions but insufficient knowledge. To address that frustrating dynamic, she and her husband Kenyon Lake are organizing the Reality Check Conference, which will be held on Friday, June 29, at A-B Tech.
“I am writing this letter to ask that both readers, listeners (radio), watchers (TV), editors and owners of various area mass media look at their staffs and their coverage for bias in hiring and coverage based on a failure to diversify their hiring and coverage.”
“The most significant change in the course, though, was shifting our approach to the study of religion from ‘difference’ to ‘diversity.’ Instead of ‘othering’ the religions we studied, diversity allowed us to examine the societal benefits — and inevitable tensions — created by the public presence of multiple religions.”
The inaugural Unsung Hero Awards ceremony took nearly a year to plan, according to Rasheeda McDaniels of the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services, one of three sponsors. The others were UNC Asheville and Date My City. “It was worth every minute,” McDaniels said as the nearly three-hour program ended Sunday evening. The […]
At a time when the nation is reeling from racially fueled violence and grieving the losses of young African-American men and five Dallas police officers, a small haven of racial love, respect and understanding in downtown Asheville is gearing up to celebrate its success with a 150th birthday party (see box, “If You Go”). […]
In 1960, a group of student activists at Asheville’s all-black Stephens-Lee High School courageously challenged the racial status quo, bringing the civil rights movement closer to home. Through public demonstrations, boycotts and engagements with city officials, the members of the Asheville Student Committee on Racial Equality helped break down Jim Crow-era barriers. For the past […]