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Charlotte Talks: Building Community And Bridging Differences In West Charlotte


Thursday, December 20, 2018

A white, middle-class couple moves into a predominately black, high-poverty West Charlotte neighborhood. Their story of forging connections across differences.

Gentrification. Affordable housing. Segregation. These are issues that Charlotte and many other growing cities are grappling with as new development moves into established, often African-American neighborhoods on the outskirts of urban centers.

Greg Jarrell is the author of A Riff of Love: Notes on Community and Belonging

They are also some of the themes in Greg Jarrell's new book A Riff of Love: Notes on Community and Belonging. Greg and his wife Helms are a white middle-class couple that chose a high-poverty, high-crime West Charlotte neighborhood to move into and establish a ministry and hospitality house.

In forging connections and understanding with their new neighbors, they have been forced to confront questions of race and privilege. Guest host Sarah Delia talks with the Jarrells and one of their neighbors about their story.

Credit WFAE/Erin Keever
Michelle Hagens, Greg Jarrell and Helms Jarrell at WFAE's studios.


Greg Jarrell, Author of A Riff of Love: Notes on Community and Belonging and Founder of QC Family Tree, a ministry and hospitality community in Charlotte's Enderly Park neighborhood

Jennifer "Helms" Jarrell, co-director of QC Family Tree

Michelle Hagens, one of the Jarrells neighbors, she has lived most of her life in Enderly Park

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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.