Charlotte, NC

Charlotte is Striving Towards Anti-Violence Community

The Hornet's Nest

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Charlotte, NC - Five years after the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the public is honoring all of the victims. Reminiscing the accident is part of the city’s effort towards anti-violence community.

Charlotte City Council member, Malcolm Graham ’85 is honoring all of the victims of Charleston church shooting, especially his sister, Cynthia Graham Hurd. In 2015, Hurd was one of the victim killed by a white supremacist in a mass shooting that happened during bible study in Charleston Church. In the 5-year remembering event, Graham emphasized he wants to focus on how his sister lived, versus how she died. To honor his sister, Graham established Cynthia Graham Hurd Foundation which mission is to improve community through reading and civic work.

“My mom died when I was a senior at Smith, so Cynthia became a mother figure to me, I think we all miss her wisdom, very much,” Graham said.

Due to COVID-Q9 pandemic, Graham created alternative ways to honor his sister’s legacy. A 25-minute celebration of life video was posted to the foundation social media accounts. In addition, Graham addressed his concern in systemic racism and policies which are especially affecting Black people. His hope is to end racism, hatred, discrimination, and all type of violence.

In commitment to end violence, Charlotte city government is launching the new community safety and violence interruption festival on August 14 2021. The festival is the city’s initiative to reach broader audiences to introduce the Alternatives to Violence program (ATV). ATV is an evidence-based program that uses a public-health approach to address violent crimes.

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