Community Voices

Holistic Wellness in Mecklenburg County

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Public health is concerned with the holistic wellbeing of all people, and mental health plays a huge role in that. Efforts include (but are not limited to) increasing access to services, decreasing stigma, and preventing stress and trauma in the community.

Check out some mental health-related events taking place this month:

Improving Mental Health Together Workshop (Topic: Humanizing Bipolar Disorder)
– Mental Health America of Central Carolinas
– 5/13: Sign Up Here

Mental Health Matters Talk Show – Real Life Tips for Managing Stress
– Mental Health America of Central Carolinas
– 5/18: Sign Up Here

Trauma 101: ACEs is Destiny
– ReCAST Mecklenburg and National Council for Mental Wellbeing
– 5/19: Sign Up Here

Pediatric Mental Health in the Wake of a Pandemic: Data, Strategies and Stories
– Emory University/Central Office
– 5/19: Sign Up Here

ACEs & Addictive Disease: The BIG Picture!
– Area L AHEC
– 5/20: Sign Up Here

QPR Suicide Prevention Training
– Mental Health America of Central Carolinas
– 5/20 and 5/26: Sign Up Here

ReCAST Toolbox: Resilience Tools Today Workshop
– ReCAST Mecklenburg and Resources for Resilience™
– 5/22: Sign Up Here

Connecting Cross-Sectors to Advance Health Equity Where it Matters
– Emory University/Central Office
– 5/24: Sign Up Here

Coffee and Conversation – “La Salud Mental: Es Tiempo de Hablar” (Spanish language event)
– Mental Health America of Central Carolinas
– 5/27: Sign Up Here

If there is a mental health-related event that you would like to add, please send an email to

Ways to Support Women and Girls

Happy Women’s History Month! Click here to learn more about trailblazing women that have impacted Charlotte.

In addition to brushing up on some history, there are numerous ways to support community-based organizations focused on women and girls. Throughout the rest of March and afterward, consider the following ways that you can show support:

– Donate (check to see if organizations accept monetary and/or material donations)

– Volunteer (please check COVID-19 protocols and virtual volunteering opportunities)

– Like, comment, and subscribe to social media accounts

– Visit to learn more about the best ways to get involved based on each organization’s needs

There are tons of Charlotte-based organizations focused on women and girls – check out a few below!

Circle de Luz

Circle de Luz does its work by selecting a small cohort group of Latinas in seventh grade whom we then follow until high school graduation. During the six years of the program, we offer our members extensive mentoring and holistic programming that supports their personal growth, academic readiness, and community engagement. In addition, we guarantee each girl a minimum of a $5,000 scholarship when she graduates from high school and pursues further education.


EmpowHERment’s mission is to empower a continuous network of girls and women to be leaders in their community through mentorship, talent development and advocacy. Our approach to empowering ladies who lead is outcomes-based, collaborative, and inclusive.

Girls Rock Charlotte

Girls Rock Charlotte is a 501c3 non-profit that is a 100% volunteer-run, community organization whose mission is to empower girls and gender diverse youth and adults through music and film education. In addition to inspiring programs, we provide opportunities for our volunteers to gain valuable leadership, teaching, facilitation and production experience. Our goal is to feature diverse leaders, musicians and professionals who serve as mentors and role-models for our campers and volunteers.

Healing Vine Harbor

The mission of Healing Vine Harbor is to reduce the number of single women living in shelters or unsafe situations, providing a pathway out of poverty to ensure self-sufficiency. We transform lives one woman at a time through independent living skills such as financial literacy, educational preparation, employability readiness, mentoring and much more.

My Sister’s House

My Sister’s House is a transitional living program for single, homeless women that equips residents with tools and resources to establish and sustain self sufficiency and end homelessness.

Teal Diva

Teal Diva celebrates victories, honors memories, empowers women, educates the community and funds diagnostic research for ovarian and gynecologic cancers. Our purpose is to encourage women to celebrate life. We advocate for young women and focus on life after cancer for survivors of any age.

YWCA Central Carolinas

YWCA Central Carolinas is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all people. YWCA Central Carolinas supports more than 250 youth from fragile communities, as well as women and families facing homelessness and educates, engages and connects community members through our racial justice and advocacy work. In addition, YWCA provides a co-ed fitness center empowering fitness members in their wellness journey.

Information gathered from

Black Leaders Who Have Shaped Public Health

Throughout February, many have taken the time to celebrate Black leaders both throughout history and in the present day. Considering the many efforts to promote resilience, self-care, and wellness via public health approaches, join ReCAST in recognizing several Black public health pioneers whose legacies still impact the work surrounding health equity, youth violence prevention, and racial equity.

Thereasea Clark Elder

In 1962, Thereasea Clark Elder became the first Black nurse to join the Mecklenburg County Health Department. Throughout her career and afterwards, Ms. Elder fiercely advocated for the health and wellbeing of Black communities. Through a holistic approach, Ms. Elder championed health equity, civil rights, and community development.1 In honor of her work and legacy, Village HeartBEAT, a program within the Mecklenburg County Public Health Department, established the Thereasea Elder Community Health Leadership Academy to train and support Community Health Ambassadors in local faith communities.2

Deborah Prothrow-Stith

After earning her medical degree from Harvard University Medical School in 1979, Dr. Prothrow-Stith witnessed how high rates of gun violence had a detrimental impact on youth in Boston.3 Since then, Dr. Prothrow-Stith dedicated much of her work to youth violence prevention and the notion that “violence should be seen as a public health problem and a social ‘disease’ rather than a criminal justice problem.”4 Dr. Prothrow-Stith’s influence can still be seen today: in 2020, the Mecklenburg County Public Health Department declared violence as a public health crisis and continues to use public health approaches to address it.

Sherman A. James

Combining his backgrounds in psychology and epidemiology, Dr. James pioneered research related to his “John Henryism” hypothesis; the notion that premature deaths of African Americans is connected to prolonged exposure to stress from discrimination and racism. His theory and continued research efforts have been foundational to understanding the social determinants of health and the impact of social environments on Black health outcomes.5,6


Welcome to the Community Voices Blog!

The Community Voices blog is intended to create space for conversations about trauma and responses to trauma from a place of healing and safety. Check out the blog to learn more about how residents are promoting resiliency, self-care, and healing throughout the community.

If you would like to submit a piece for the blog, please complete the Submission Form located under the Community Voices tab.