Public Conversations

Erin Keever

 Tuesday, February 27, 2018

We are in a unique moment: Many of Charlotte’s top leaders are African-American. We talk with some of them - Mayor Vi Lyles, Police Chief Kerr Putney, DA Spencer Merriweather, and City Manager Marcus Jones in a special WFAE Public Conversation - "Building An Inclusive City." 

Audience Discussion At WFAE's Public Conversation

Jul 14, 2017
Gwendolyn Glenn / WFAE

On July 11, WFAE hosted a public conversation where community members gathered to discuss Charlotte’s rising homicide count. This year there have been 49 homicides – putting the city on track to reach 95 murders this year. That’s a third more than last year. CMPD Chief Kerr Putney noted socioeconomic disparities in minority communities are playing significant roles in the violence.

Tom Bullock / WFAE

Mike Collins hosted a special Charlotte Talks Public Conversation about Charlotte’s rising homicide count.  CMPD Chief Kerr Putney and others spoke at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church on July 11th to share what’s being done to quell homicide in Charlotte, what is left to do and its impact on our city.  

Beyond the conversation: We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts about this problem by calling 704-879-3536.

Erin Keever

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A special two-hour Public Conversation about the Trump Administration’s new stand on immigration.  Who do his policies affect?  What is law enforcement’s role?  And we hear some personal stories as Mike Collins hosts a special edition of Charlotte Talks from McGlohon Theater in Uptown Charlotte. 

Jennifer Roser / WFAE

The recent shooting by police of Keith Scott and the unrest that followed has revealed problems in Charlotte, not unlike those we’ve witnessed in other parts of the country. But, what happened here doesn’t sit well with longtime Charlotteans who thought we had a tradition of solving problems “the Charlotte Way.” In a special two-hour Public Conversation, we examine what happened, look back on the city’s history and how it may have contributed to this, look forward to where we go from here and hear from you.

Lisa Worf / WFAE

Charlotte Talks hosts a public conversation Tuesday night on strengthening trust after the shooting of Keith Scott. A forum is one way to approach this, but there are many one-on-one discussions going on in the community.  Here's one of them.

The impact of HB2 is now beginning to be felt. Last week, the NBA announced they were pulling their All-Star weekend from Charlotte. City businesses are now set to lose an estimated $100 million. But there has also been an impact on the city and the state’s image, and on LGBTQ individuals who have lost protections against discrimination. We discuss this and more during a WFAE Public Conversation. 

This public forum was recorded in front of a live audience at McGlohon Theater on Tuesday, July 26.

Tom Bullock

Student assignment has become a hot topic as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools continues the process of drawing new attendance zones for schools. The ongoing conversation over pupil assignment has raised tensions, emotions and heated debate in the community and on the school board. Charlotte Talks hosted a special public conversation about school assignment Wednesday night at McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square. We heard from school board members, concerned parents, and from members of the community. You can hear the full discussion and questions and comments from the audience here. 

Web Extra: After the broadcast portion of the show, the program continued with more questions and comments from the audience. Listen here: 


You know Mark Rumsey as WFAE’s All Things Considered host. He’s also WFAE’s Public Conversations coordinator. In this episode, Mark talks to News Director Greg Collard about what emerged from WFAE’s most recent Public Conversation on End-of-Life Planning and Choices.

End-of-Life Planning And Choices

Jan 22, 2015
Sarah Delia

This forum addressed common choices and challenges that individuals, their families and health care providers face surrounding end-of-life planning and care. We looked at things like living wills - What are they? How do they work? Are they effective? Ethical considerations regarding how we die. Hospice and palliative care. Plus more. 

We've compiled these documents and articles to help you prepare:

New York Times: Teenagers Face Early Death, On Their Terms

Medical choices and planning tools. 

News Director Greg Collard and Public Conversations coordinator Mark Rumsey, who moderated the forum, shared some follow-up thoughts on the discussion in our weekly podcast, WFAE Talks.   

National Healthcare Decisions Day
National Healthcare Decisions Day is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.

Advance Directives Booklet

NPR host Diane Rehm emerges as key force in right-to-die debate

From NPR: If You Have Dementia, Can You Hasten Death As You Wished?

End-of-Life informational resources from the North Carolina Medical Society 

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

Pew Research Center Survey – “Views on End-of-Life Medical Treatments”

The State Of Public Education

Sep 16, 2014

As the new school year gets underway, this community forum explored the changing climate for public education in the Charlotte region. Panelists addressed recent moves to raise teacher pay and discussed the future of student achievement standards and Common Core guidelines. The forum also examined the role of charter schools, their successes and challenges to date in the Charlotte area, and the outlook for charter programs.

Tom Bullock/WFAE News

From class size and teacher pay to charter schools, changing test standards and the common core, public education has been big news of late.

Tuesday night, WFAE will hold a public conversation on the State of Public Education. The event begins at 7 at the UNC Charlotte Center City Auditorium. WFAE’s Tom Bullock will moderate the conversation. He spoke with WFAE Morning Edition host Marshall Terry.

dcJohn / Flickr/

September is here, and I’ve been hearing those big yellow school buses making their early morning rounds in my neighborhood.

North Carolina lawmakers move to take Common Core education standards off the books. Greg, Lisa and Ben also discuss WFAE's latest Public Conversations forum, What's In Our Water? Plus, the reason environmentalists are so upset with Governor McCrory's coal ash proposal.

What's In Our Water?

Apr 22, 2014
Mark Rumsey

At WFAE's Public Conversation on "What's In Our Water," reporter Ben Bradford opened the community forum by presenting an overview of the Catawba River Basin including the lakes that provide Charlotte's drinking water supply, threats to the regions water quality, and the water treatment process.