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I believe that this upcoming website will inform the citizens of Charlotte, North Carolina, or anyone in the world of the stories of Blacks and their experiences in the CMS education system.


~ Ariana Anderson, 17

Victory Christian HS

 About Exhibition

On September 5, 2018, the Charlotte Observer published an article highlighting that eight CMS schools experienced a decline in graduation rates by more than 10 points. The article stated that high poverty neighborhood schools were hit the hardest by this decline in graduation rates, and predominately Black, Hispanic, and economically disadvantaged students were impacted most. Additionally, national data in the United States has indicated that Black students consistently perform significantly low on academic assessments compared to White students. These factors and more, contribute to disproportionate rates of school discipline enforced upon Black students. According to the Civil Rights Data Collection (2015), Black students made up 72% of Out of School Suspensions in CMS schools. The need to foster conversations that connect our past to create potential remedies for our future community is critical towards building social capital and empowering economic mobility in Charlotte, NC.

For this reason, The Education of Blacks (1920 - 2020) Online Youth Exhibition project captures the educational experience, past and present, of Blacks in Charlotte, NC. This invaluable initiative bridges history with critical media pedagogy and digital arts to build understanding and empower action in our community. The project was a collaboration with the UNC Charlotte Urban Education Collaborative, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, I AM not the MEdia, Inc., Scholar Pamela Grundy, and educators from five local schools. The team worked to assist students in capturing historically marginalized educational experiences of the past and exploring today's educational system through digital media. This initiative encompassed historical workshop sessions for students led by Pamela Grundy and archival research sessions led by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Community interviews were recorded and edited by students from the Carolina School of Broadcasting and digital media workshops were conducted by I AM not the MEdia. After completion of the workshops, students developed an archival website with photographs, audio interviews, and digital artifacts that captured the educational experience of Blacks in Charlotte to the present day with the goal of educating the community.


Watch the recap of students launching The Education of Blacks in Charlotte Youth Exhibition on Facebook Live on February 22, 2021.




This Online Youth Exhibition is Funded by the NC Humanities.











Jimmeka Anderson

Project Creator and Lead Coordinator

Doctoral Student, Urban Education Collaborative at UNC Charlotte


Wally K. Burgess

Project Coordinator and School Partner

Middle Grades Educator, Druid Hills Academy

Pamela Grundy

Project Historian and Workshop Facilitator

Historian, Writer, and Author

Pamela McCarter

Project Resource Librarian and Workshop Facilitator

Outreach Coordinator, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Cassandra Alston

Digital Media Workshop Coordinator

Operations Director, I AM not the MEdia, Inc.

Renee' Leak

Community Partner

Area Director, Communities In Schools 

Stacey Weinstein

School Partner

Communities In Schools Coordinator, Myers Park High School

Angelica Johnson

School Partner

Communities In Schools Coordinator, Julius Chambers High School

Cheryl Riley

School Partner

Principal, Victory Christian High School

Jedidiah Anderson-Gist

School Partner

High School Educator, Mallard Creek High School

Jasmine McNeil

Video Editing & Web Design


Candace Chambers

Website Content Editor

Founder, Educational Writing Services, LLC.

Antwanard Massey and Nathaniel Powell

Video Production and Video Editing

Carolina School of Broadcasting

***Read full reflections from student participants, additional articles, and watch full interviews that were not captured in the exhibit.

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​The Urban Education Collaborative at UNC Charlotte will be a national model of excellence for partnering with urban schools, community organizations and the business community to improve economic, educational opportunities and the quality of life for our nation’s urban students.

To advance the intellectual, social, economic and educational conditions of urban students in the state of North Carolina and the nation through knowledge dissemination, innovative programming and strategic partnerships.

Executive Director

Dr. Chance Lewis

Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Urban Education

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