Equity, Personal Responsibility + Charlotte's Future

(by Shannon Binns, Executive Director of Sustain Charlotte)

These days, I find myself thinking about the future more than ever. 

When I think about my precious, bright-eyed daughter, Edie Moon, I wonder what kind of world she will live in.  I wonder if it will still be treated as invincible.  I wonder if today’s injustices will be better – or worse.

As an optimist, I can’t help but imagine her inheriting a better world.  But as I near mid-life, my optimism is tempered by an understanding that this will not happen without the commitment and work of many.  And that work must happen today. 

Recent events in our community have laid bare before us the inequity that we have allowed to take hold.  The inequity we have created. 

It would be convenient to assume that this challenge arose by someone else’s action, that it is someone else’s responsibility to solve.  But we cannot allow ourselves to be complacent.  Instead we must commit to helping bring about the changes that will make our community a fairer place.  A place where everyone has the opportunity to rise to his or her best. 

Since our founding in 2010, Sustain Charlotte has been a voice for sustainable development, which is the type of development that strengthens our economy, protects our environment, and furthers social equity. In fact we designed our logo to reflect the harmony that is achieved when these three aspects are in balance.   

No community can sustain itself without this balance.  When one or more aspects are given priority over the others, the community becomes off balance, and it’s future becomes jeopardized. 

In Charlotte, for too long, we have put too much priority on the short-term economic gains of development, and given too little consideration to how that development impacts our environment, and our equity.

This is why, at Sustain Charlotte, we are often challenging the status quo.  When we embark on a new project or advocate for an issue we do so because we see a need, and an opportunity, to create greater balance.   To move our community towards the type of development that will make us healthier, more secure, and more equitable. 

We will continue to do this.  And we hope you will stand with us as we – and others – call for those changes that will create the type of world we can be proud to pass on to Edie Moon, and all of those who come after us.

- Shannon Binns Founder and Executive Director, Sustain Charlotte

 


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