Digi-Bridge, Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte, and She Built This City Find New Home at Innovation Alley
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Nov. 12, 2020) -- On Thursday, Nov. 12, doors will open at Innovation Alley, a dedicated programming space funded by Lowe’s Foundation to be shared by Charlotte nonprofits Digi-Bridge, Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte, and She Built This City.
The space located at Hygge Coworking’s Jay Street location provides a shared workshop, classroom, and inventory space for three organizations working to provide STEAM education, construction career training, and critical home repairs to the community. Additionally, the space contains interior and exterior public art, a tool wall, 3D printing lab, activation space and a state-of-the-art virtual studio provided by Generation T.
Innovation Alley will allow the three organizations to fulfill elements of their respective missions and also provide opportunities for collaboration such as 3D printing classes for construction students, job training and apprenticeships for women in trade fields and multifaceted volunteer opportunities. The three organizations are all supported by Lowe’s and will continue to innovate to find ways to bring community together.
We are excited to announce that this fall, we are partnering with LG Electronics USA and Lowe's Home Improvement for the second year to give five homeowners in the Druid Hills Neighborhood ENERGY STAR appliances.
ENERGY STAR appliances are equipped with cutting edge energy efficiency technology that allows homeowners to save on energy costs and help protect our planet. For the homeowners we work with, these appliances can be life-changing. We are forever grateful for the relationship we have with LG and Lowe's and the impact their generosity has on the health and safety of our homeowners.
Learn more about this partnership here.
These appliances are life-changing for me. Before I had to unhook my oxygen to cook because the gas stove and dryer, now I don’t have to worry about any of that."
In the midst of the pandemic, Social Venture Partners launched a new pilot called Spark Teams to leverage their greatest assets - Partners' skills, experience, and expertise - to support the nonprofit community. A Spark Team consisting of SVP Partners with interest and expertise in specific areas (e.g. operations, fundraising, governance, etc.) convened to offer non-financial support, brainstorming, and thought partnership to a few selected nonprofits.
In the spring of 2019, our Executive Director, Beth Morrison, participated in SVP's SEED20 event, which provided invaluable coaching and support in crafting and elevating the messaging of our work. So we didn't hesitate to throw our name in the hat for the Spark Team Pilot and were thrilled to be selected.
Our leadership determined the most impactful areas to strengthen as we continue growing and expanding our community impact. We were paired with an amazing team of strategic philanthropists including Henry Lander, Lou Jerome, Cristy Travaglino, and Dawn Posey. Over the course of eight sessions over two months, we mapped out a more supportive and robust board onboarding process and identified different tools to use with board and staff to implement our strategic plan.
We're working with Lowe's Home Improvement to make a meaningful difference in the Greater Charlotte area! Through our partnership in 2020, we have further expanded our staffing capacity by hiring a full-time Program Manager, piloted virtual build-along fundraisers, launched an Emergency Repair Program, and prepared to launch programming in our new shared nonprofit space, Innovation Alley.
Our partnership with Lowe's has provided a springboard for our growth and increased impact in preserving safe, affordable housing in the Greater Charlotte area.
Read more about Lowe's community impact throughout the Greater Charlotte area.
*Please note, these photos were taken in October 2019 during the Rebuild-a-Block event.
by Michael McClelland
A rising senior at Davidson College majoring in History, Michael interned with Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte over the summer through Davidson Nonprofit Leadership Fellows program.
For decades, African Americans have experienced housing discrimination by real estate agents, banks, and the government policies regarding where they have the right to live. This post discusses the ways in which the US government along with other aspects of housing (real estate and the banking industry) have segregated American neighborhoods with a focus on Charlotte, North Carolina. Richard Rothstein's 2017 book The Color of Law is an excellent introduction to this topic and provides much of the information referenced below.
While the Coronavirus has altered plans for millions of people, I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte this summer through the Davidson Nonprofit Leadership Fellows program.
Back in high school, I had some interactions with nonprofit organizations when I had free time. I never really worked with one specific organization entirely; I floated around and experienced many different segments of the nonprofit world. During that time, I began to understand the impact that nonprofits can have on people's lives. I realized I would find joy and fulfillment in helping as many people as I can.
Some more about me: I am Michael McClelland. I am a rising senior at Davidson College. I decided to major in History, and I enjoy learning about and discussing American history. I was recruited to Davidson College to wrestle, which I did for two years. I was raised in Waxhaw, North Carolina, with my three siblings and parents. At Davidson College, I have been the Service Chair for the past few years for my fraternity and worked with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Hope House Foundation.
For the summer, here are some things that I am excited about:
While this fellowship was intended to be in-person, I am still very excited about what this summer holds, although it is remote. Throughout the summer, I will be researching different topics surrounding housing such as redlining and the relationship between housing and health which will be posted here on RTGC's blog. I intend to focus on Charlotte’s housing situation in my research. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work for such an amazing organization.
“RACE SHAPES HOW PEOPLE EXPERIENCE THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, AS DO WEALTH AND THE SYSTEMIC DISPARITIES THAT HAVE RESULTED IN A RACIAL WEALTH GAP…IF YOU DON’T HAVE WEALTH, YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO SUFFER THE PANDEMIC’S WORST OUTCOMES.”
The Urban Institute explains how COVID-19 exposes the impact of the racial wealth gap occurring locally. The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute released an in depth report on the various factors of the racial wealth gap with local data on Charlotte-Mecklenburg. During this time, COVID-19 just intensifies these issues that were already occurring within the racial wealth gap and perpetuates the systems creating disparities within our communities.
Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte is participating in #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity that will take place as an emergency response to the need caused by COVID-19. #GivingTuesdayNow will take place on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.