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Local News

Educator And Advocate Appointed To City Council

Carlenia_Ivory.jpg
City of Charlotte Twitter
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Carlenia Ivory is sworn in during a private ceremony Tuesday. She will finish out the term of former-District 2 representative, Al Austin.

Carlenia Ivory, a longtime educator, organizer, and community advocate in Charlotte, was sworn in Tuesday as District 2 representative on Charlotte City Council.

Ivory, 66, succeeds Al Austin, who prematurely stepped down this month to take a job with the state Department of Transportation.

A resident of Charlotte's Hyde Park Community for the past 43 years, Ivory has built a reputation as an effective community leader who focuses her efforts on education, public safety, and improving quality-of-life in the city. She led efforts to raise $2.6 million to build the Oaklawn Recreation Center, later renamed the Ivory Baker Recreation Center, and she's responsible for launching weekend tutoring programs, an SAT Prep course for high schoolers, a summer camp, and more.

Her day job is with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, where she has worked as a community and family specialist since 1991. 

She's received dozens of honors and awards for her community service, including the highest honor given by the state of North Carolina, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award, which recognizes individuals with a record of extraordinary service to their communities.

Ivory was herself asked by Austin, then still a council member, to consider applying to replace him. Not long after, she called longtime friend and fellow community advocate Sarah Stevenson for advice.

"And I said 'Yes, do it!'" Stevenson said. "And I'm sure glad she did. Whenever there is a need for tutoring, or clothing, or whatever the need is, all you have to do is call Carlenia."

Joy Paige Springs, another friend and associate who works at Ivory's alma mater, Johnson C. Smith University, says Ivory's accolades are well deserved.

"She is someone who just works tirelessly and is very humble," she said, "When she asks you to do something, you're going to do it, because you know it's something that's going to help our Charlotte community or our kids."

Ivory will serve as District 2 representative until the end of Austin's term in December.