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Charlotte Talks: 'Leading On Opportunity' Co-Chairs On Tackling Economic Mobility In 2018

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

It's a new year, but the city still faces many of its old problems. One of them - a lack of economic mobility - is being confronted head-on by an educator and a business executive. An update on their progress.

A few years ago, Charlotte received some troubling news about upward economic mobility - it's practically non-existent here. If you're born poor in Charlotte, you have little chance of moving up the economic ladder.

That disturbed a lot of people, so the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force was formed. They came up with a list of recommendations with a goal of beginning implementation in 2018. Well the time has arrived, and the task as fallen to the co-chairs of the Leading on Opportunity Council - an educator and a business executive.

Former North Carolina Teacher of the Year, James Ford is the educator. Bank of America's Andrea Smith is the executive. They join host Mike Collins to share the challenge and their progress so far.


Andrea Smith - Co-Chair, Leading on Opportunity Council. Chief Administrative Officer at Bank of America and a member of the company’s executive management team.

James E. Ford - Co-Chair, Leading on Opportunity Council. Educator, education consultant, and Program Director for the Public School Forum of North Carolina, an education research and advocacy group.

Related event:
The Leading on Opportunity Council is holding quarterly public meetings. The next one is Wednesday, January 17th at 5:30pm at Johnson C. Smith University. Details. 

Leading on Opportunity website

Read the full report from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force (get the PDF version here)

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Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.