Details on our 2020 events coming soon!
For more information on past events, check out our blog here.
Saturday, October 19, 12 PM – 4PM: Black Mama: Endangered
Charlotte Reproductive Action Network and Hannah Hasan/Epoch Tribe present Black Mama: Endangered, a live storytelling event on black women’s reproductive rights and experiences with the United States healthcare system.
Nationally, black women are four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. In places such as Georgia or New York, that statistic is as high as twelve times faster than white women. This project is a live story-sharing performance of ten true stories – all shared by local storytellers – that unpack the experiences of black women and their trials with the healthcare system. The theme will be healthcare issues that black women face, including prenatal care, delivery, miscarriage, stillbirth, illness, death, and the impact on families. In addition to the stories that are shared, there will be a visual component that also shares these experiences through visual storytelling.
Prior to the storytelling portion of the event, there will be an opportunity to connect with CRAN organizations to learn more about community resources and volunteer opportunities. Directly following the stories will be a community conversation.
The event will take place at UNCC Student Union 340DE. More information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2396364480457260/
Thursday, September 5th, 6:30-9:00 PM: Expose Fake Clinics: How CPCs Harm Our Communities
Did you know that your tax dollars fund deception and manipulation of patients seeking medical care?
Join Tara Romano, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, and Senator Natasha Marcus, NC District 41, for a revealing conversation on crisis pregnancy centers and state funding in North Carolina. Brandi Calhoun, birth worker and Director of Childbirth, Greensboro YWCA, will share her experience of being on the ground and seeing firsthand the harm CPC’s cause to our communities.
The event will include a workshop where we will identity CPCs operating in Charlotte and the source of their funding. Learn how you can help expose fake clinics and protect a patient’s right to be informed of all their options.
The event will be 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte in Cotswold.
More information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/654520461682522/
Sunday, September 1st, 2:00-4:00 PM: Celebrate Ardie the Clinic Defender’s Birthday With Us!
Ardie the Clinic Defender is celebrating another year of clinic defense! Come celebrate with cake and drinks. CRAN partner organizations will be there to provide information on how you get more involved with advocacy in our city. The event will be 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM at Birdsong Brewing located at 1016 N. Davidson Street, Charlotte, NC 28206.
More information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/479280086183980/
Monday, August 12th, 6:30-8:30 PM: CRAN Candidate Forum
Join us for conversations with the 2019 Charlotte City Council candidates. Candidates will be on hand to answer your questions on their positions around reproductive healthcare, reproductive rights, and reproductive justice. Charlotte Reproductive Action Network’s voter guide will also be available for distribution. Learn which candidates align with your views on women’s issues so you can vote your values!
The event will be at Eastside Local Eatery located at 3102 Eastway Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina 28205.
More information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2341489226125295/
Wednesday, June 26th, 6:00-8:00 PM: “The Pro-Life Movement Does Not Represent My Faith” – A Panel Discussion
Join the Charlotte Reproductive Action Network on Wednesday, June 26, from 6 – 8 PM for a panel discussion on the important topic of faith, religion, and safe, legal access to abortion.
The event will take place at Union Presbyterian Theological Seminary located at 5141 Sharon Road in Charlotte. There is no cost to attend. Complimentary pizza and beverages will be provided.
More about the Program:
The first individuals to create a network to help women access safe abortion pre-Roe v. Wade were priests, rabbis, pastors, and ministers. They did so because they saw it as a human rights issue. Every injustice throughout history – from slavery to unlawful detainment to rape to murder – begins with taking away an individual’s ability to control their own body.
Religious leaders have always stood up and spoken out for reproductive justice. It’s crucial that they continue to do so today. It’s also important to highlight the hypocrisy and harm to our communities of the current “pro-life” movement. We will discuss the myth that one cannot be devoted to their faith and also an advocate for bodily autonomy. This is a social justice issue and it must be led by our faith leaders.
Moderator: Sarah Haley, Charlotte Reproductive Action Network
Welcome: Ash Williams, Carolina Abortion Fund
– Rev. Glencie Rhedrick, Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice
– Faisal Khan, Carolina Peace Center
– Rev. Floretta L. Barbee-Watkins, The Avenue Presbyterian Church
– Gautam Desai, The United India Community Forum
– Rev. Ray Shawn McKinnon, South Tryon Community United Methodist Church
– Rev. Jay Leach, Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte
– Rabbi Judith Schindler, Stan Greenspan Center for Peace & Social Justice
More information here
More about the Panelists:
Reverend Glencie Rhedrick, an ordained Baptist minister, currently serves as an associate minister at First Baptist Church-West, where she leads the Bereavement Ministry and facilitates an engaging weekly adult Bible study class. Additionally, she served as Interim Pastor for Life Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC.
A graduate of Johnson C. Smith University, Reverend Rhedrick received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with honors and a Master of Science Degree from National Louis University in Evanston, Illinois in Human Resources Management and Development with a concentration in Organizational Behavior. She received her Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in Pastoral Care from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia. She is certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains, a distinction that few African Americans have achieved.
A local and national community activist, Rev. Rhedrick is the former president of Mecklenburg Ministries, an interfaith organization of approximately 100 houses of faith. She is also an active member of the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team (DVFRT). Currently she holds the following positions: Chair of the Social Justice Committee for United Missionary Baptist Association (UMBA), Co- Chair for Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, Co-Chair of Clergy Southern Piedmont Circle for the Poor People’s Campaign: The National Call for a Moral Revival for Charlotte-Mecklenburg and surrounding counties; Chaplain for the 12th Congressional District and Co-Chair for the Lecture Series Committee and Social Justice Chair for Minister’s Conference. Recently she has been accepted to the Board of Directors for the National Jobs for All Coalition. She also hosted a national Blog talk radio show on the PDA Network entitled Women: Change Agents.
Rev. Rhedrick is a humble woman of God. She is the proud mother of one son Justin and one energetic granddaughter, Marleigh. She lives by one of her favorite Scriptures Romans 12:1-2, I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Faisal R Khan is a published columnist and has been an Assistant Editor and Regional Editor for two International newspapers in the Caucasus region. At times he worked with the US Embassy Press Secretary on various assignments related to political, economic and social issues in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Furthermore, Faisal has acquired a great deal of experience working with the UN and NGOs on matters related to healthcare and social programs for women and orphans.
He has a strong multicultural background in which he provides a leadership role in the areas of activism and organizing. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Coalition for Peace with Justice, which is an organization dedicated to a just and sustainable peace between Israel and Palestine. Faisal Khan is also a board member for ACLU.
Faisal is also the recipient of the CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) 2007 Courage Award in recognition of his work defending the rights of the vulnerable and afflicted members of society.
Most notably, Faisal is the founder of the Carolina Peace Center (CPC). CPC is a grassroots non-profit organization based in North Carolina which works to develop and organize a strong collaboration between all communities, both within our state and across the nation. The mission of CPC is to promote tolerance and peaceful activism while advocating for the most at-risk and marginalized communities in the region.
Through his work as a community organizer, Faisal has organized many events such as town hall meetings including vigils and has cultivated community engagement regarding political and social issues. Additionally, he has organized refugee events with interfaith groups to garner support for incoming refugee families and increase cultural awareness. Faisal has always been focused on the safety and security of refugees immigrating to the United States, particularly children. He has also designed and directed special interfaith programs for children to create awareness about diverse faiths and encourages critical thinking as well as an understanding of the diversity between various faiths and beliefs.
The Reverend Floretta L. Watkins was born to the late Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Flossie E. Watkins in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from Walker High School and then matriculated to Mercer University in Macon GA where she earned a BA degree in Communications. In 1993, she graduated from Johnson C. Smith Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Seminary with an emphasis in Homiletics and Christian Education. After seminary she was ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament and immediately began her vocational service to the church as Presbytery Staff of Campus Ministry at South Carolina State University and Claflin College. It was there that Reverend Watkins developed her approach to ministry as a “down to earth” minister serving with imagination, energy and humor.
After serving the campuses in Orangeburg SC, she received a call to serve Pleasant Ridge of Lancaster SC and Hermon Presbyterian Church in Rock Hill, SC. Under her leadership, Hermon was able to erect a new worship facility right under 7000 square feet, consisting of a Sanctuary, classrooms and a fellowship hall. Reverend Watkins was chosen to lead Hermon because of her dynamic preaching abilities as well as her abilities to understand generational characteristics and their impact on the church.
In 1997, Reverend Floretta Watkins was commissioned to the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the United States Air Force National Guard as the first African American female Chaplain in the entire Air National Guard. She served as support to airmen and soldiers in the various situations including the floods of North Carolina in Kingston NC as well as deployment to Elmendorf, AFB in Alaska as well as Osan, South Korea. She served as the Deputy Wing Chaplain to the 145th Air National Guard. In 2017 she retired with 20 years of service to our nation.
In 2002 Reverend Watkins began her service at well known Seigle Avenue Presbyterian Church. Known for its interracial make-up, Reverend Watkins opened the doors for more inclusion and acceptance of all of God’s children. With a strong emphasis on leadership development, Reverend Watkins concentrates her efforts on a decentralized ministry style so that she can pour her energy into equipping lay leadership for ministry.
As the church transitions to new opportunities for service Reverend Watkins continues to enhance her leadership skills, both formally and informally. Most recently Rev. Watkins completed the Certificate of Executive Leadership with McCormick Theological Seminary and is currently completing the Ed.D doctoral program in Organizational Leadership.
Reverend Watkins continues to serve the church with heart and soul. She has served on the Presbytery Council and served and chair of the Mission and Justice Committee of Council. She also proudly served as the first African American Clergy woman Moderator of the Presbytery of Charlotte in 2013. Reverend Watkins was nominated to serve on the Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns and now serves as a co-moderator.
Reverend Watkins is the owner of FlowMotion Coaching a performance coaching company which focuses on the total person, mind, body and heart. As a certified coach in Social and Emotional Intelligence, she hopes to help professionals, entrepreneurs and leaders transform and synergize the FLOW of mind body and heart, so that they can live purposeful and powerful lives.
Gautam Desai represents United Indian Community Forum (UICFORUM.ORG). UIC’s mission is to channel energies of the unique religious, linguistic and provincial diversity of the Indian Diaspora for the greater good. We embrace the cultural richness, spiritual wisdom and progressive potential of all traditions without identifying with or representing any, and seek collaborations with the likeminded in greater Charlotte area.
In the past, Gautam volunteered as an at-large member of the immigrant integration task-force; an activist in various environmental, racial, economic justice campaigns as well as the Democratic Party and as a speaker on Hinduism. He participated in an inter-faith delegation for human rights to India and visited Pakistan through Indo-Pak people’s forum to promote Peace and Democracy.
Gautam earned MBA and MPhil degrees in International Business after undergraduate studies in Politics, Sociology and Law. He grew up in and continues to engage with Hinduism and Buddhist thought.
Ray McKinnon is a graduate of John Wesley University and resides in Charlotte, NC with his wife, V. Kelly McKinnon. They are parents to four boys, a cat, a dog, and a gecko. They live in North West Charlotte in the Sunset Oaks community. Ray is from Greensboro, NC where he was raised on the eastside in Dudley Heights. He attended and graduated from James B. Dudley Senior High School.
Ray has served in vocational ministry for the past nineteen years. He began his ministry career in 2000. He has served as a Youth Pastor, Associate Pastor, Celebrate Recovery Pastor, Missions Pastor, and he currently serves as the Senior Pastor at South Tryon Community United Methodist Church in Charlotte.
Fundamental to Ray’s calling is a conviction that faith–true and abiding faith–impacts others and leave them more whole, more loved, more inspired, and never hurt. From that belief, Ray is passionate about community advocacy—particularly surrounding affordable housing, criminal justice reform, upward mobility, and equity (racial, gender, sexuality). And he doesn’t cede faith to the most excluding and judgemental among us. He likes to say that his faith impacts his worldview. It is on account of his faith that he champions justice, mercy, and humility. Micah 6:8 is a guiding verse for his life.
Ray is a member of the Charlotte Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, a member of the Leading on Opportunity Council, Co-Founder of New South Progressives, President of the South Tryon Community Development Corporation, Co-Vicechair of the Justice and Reconciliation Team of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church (WNCCUMC), WNCCUMC Peace with Justice Coordinator, a Committeeman at the Democratic National Committee, a member of the State Executive Council for the North Carolina Democratic Party, Past President of Young Democrats of Mecklenburg County, among other leadership roles.
Reverend Jay Leach is the Senior Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte. In a ministerial career of three-and-a half decades, Jay served prior congregations in Charlotte, New Orleans, Houston and Napa. Among many community activities, He served on the Board of Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans and the Board of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, worked as a clergy counselor at a hospice for people with HIV/AIDS and helped initiate the work of a Corporate Responsibility Committee for a major Catholic healthcare system.
He is a Class XXVII graduate of Leadership Charlotte, was involved in North Carolina’s “Moral Monday Movement” under the leadership of Rev. William Barber, am a member of the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, and currently chair the Charlotte Mecklenburg School Superintendent’s Interfaith Advisory Council.
In the larger world of Unitarian Universalism, he is past-president of the Senior Ministers of Large UU Congregations and served on the Presidential Search Committee for the Starr King School for the Ministry. He currently is on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee for Starr King. And, he enjoys a role on the Board of Skinner House, one of our denominational publishing houses.
He has a deep personal and spiritual interest in poetry, a passion that is often reflected in his services. He has a longstanding interest in the American Transcendentalists, especially Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, an affinity that also informs the content of his services. Much of his current reading, study and teaching is the area of racial justice.
Rabbi Judith Schindler is the Sklut Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University of Charlotte. She was named Rabbi Emerita of Temple Beth El in Charlotte, North Carolina after serving as Senior Rabbi from 2003-2016 and as Associate Rabbi from 1998-2003. Prior to coming to Charlotte, she was an Associate Rabbi at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, New York.
She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Tufts University in 1988 (magna cum laude), her Master’s from the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles in 1993, and her rabbinic ordination at the Hebrew Union College in New York in 1995. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati.
Rabbi Schindler serves on the Executive Committee of the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, is a member of the Israel + Reform Zionism Committee (formerly ARZA), and is a Trustee of the Reform Pension Board. She is past co-chair of the Women’s Rabbinic Network, served on the Board of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Coalition for Housing, and served as co-chair of the Clergy Council of MeckMin (Charlotte’s interfaith organization).
On behalf of Temple Beth El, Rabbi Schindler envisioned and led the creation of four social justice documentaries being utilized across the country. “Souls of Our Students: Appreciating Differences” and “Souls of our Students: A Transgender Focus” address diversity in schools. “Souls of Our Teachers” addresses urban education and “Souls of our Neighbors” explores the value of creating affordable housing. Three of the documentaries earned Telly Awards. Rabbi Schindler has contributed chapters and articles to more than ten books. She co-authored Recharging Judaism: How Civic Engagement is Good for Synagogues, Jews, and America (CCAR Press, 2018) which focuses on recharging congregations through civic engagement and moving the religious community from volunteerism to advocacy. Recharging Judaism was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice. She was a 2017-2018 contributing columnist for the Charlotte Observer and delivered a TEDxCharlotte talk in 2018 entitled “Mastering the Art of Loving your Neighbor.”
Among the many awards she has received, Rabbi Schindler was named Charlotte Woman of the Year in 2011. She received the 2008 Humanitarian Award from the Charlotte Coalition for Social Justice, the 2008 Mecklenburg Ministries Interfaith Clergy Award, was selected as one of Charlotte’s USA 20: Celebrating Dynamic Women in 2010, and was recently named the 2017 Outstanding Champion of Diversity by the Association of Fundraising Professionals NC Charlotte Chapter.
Tuesday, June 24th, 6:00PM: Pack The Chamber For The #bufferzone Vote!
Join us on Monday, June 24, at the Charlotte City Council public forum for the full council vote on changes to the city’s noise ordinance!
Contact your Charlotte City Council Representatives and let them know you support the proposed changes to the city’s noise ordinance. Then, sign up to speak at the City Council Public Forum on June 24th in support of the changes. The proposed changes create 200 foot buffer zones around churches, schools, and medical facilities. These changes are crucial to protecting access to places of worship, education, and healthcare in our community. The buffer zones will eliminate harassment, intimidation, and obstruction to these vulnerable spaces. Show up to the full council vote on June 24th to support the vote and speak up to make your voice heard!
Contact City Council Representatives here: https://charlottenc.gov/CityCouncil/Pages/default.aspx
Sign up to speak here: https://charlottenc.gov/CityClerk/Pages/Speak.aspx
More information on the event here.
Tuesday, May 21st, 12:00-1:00PM: Stop the Abortion Bans!
This Tuesday, May 21st, at noon local time at statehouses, town squares, and courthouses across the nation, we will show up to speak out and fight back against this unconstitutional attempt to gut Roe and punish women.
Across the country, we are seeing a new wave of extreme bans on abortion, stripping away reproductive freedom and representing an all-out assault on abortion access. This is Trump’s anti-choice movement… and it’s terrifying, particularly for women of color and low-income women who are most affected by these bans. Politicians shouldn’t be making decisions best left to women, their families, and their doctors.
Bring a sign and a friend! We will gather outside in front of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center. Join us as together we say: STOP THE BANS!
More information here.
Thursday, March 21st, 6:30-8:30 PM: Erase The Stigma: Abortion is Normal Part Of Women’s Healthcare
Abortion is normal. Abortion is healthcare. Abortion is responsibility. Abortion saves lives. Abortion is freedom.
Join the Charlotte Reproductive Action Network and the North State Humanists for an important panel discussion on why keeping abortion safe, legal, and accessible is crucial for a healthy society. It is time to erase the stigma and recognize abortion as a normal, essential part of women’s healthcare.
We are bringing this important conversation to the community of Concord, where the majority of the anti-choice protesters that regularly harass women at the clinics in Charlotte live. The event will be held on Thursday, March 21st at the Democratic Headquarters in downtown Concord. Plenty of parking is available off Church Street, directly behind the building adjacent to the entrance. Light appetizers will be served. Program starts promptly at 7PM.
More information here.