A Guide to the Fellowship's present and past
Welcome to the Fellowship online. Please feel free to explore this site on your own. Or read this page and use the links below to go to the various places on this site mentioned.
The Fellowship today
The board meets monthly. The meetings are not public forums, but board members often invite guests. More information about the board and the Fellowship's organization is on the About Us page.
The Fellowship has no staff. It does not operate any ongoing programs.
When the board meets, it continues to examine the ongoing issues facing Charlotte-Mecklenburg education. The discussion often leads to material generated for this website. But even more important, the discussions support the work of board members and guests in their own lives and work and witness.
Issues in Education series
In the summer of 2008, the Fellowship launched an Issues in Education series to publish monographs. The first in that series, written by board member Mickey Aberman, remains relevant to the discussions of education and poverty continuing in 2010. Other monographs may be published in the series in the future.
The Educate! years
From 2000 to 2005, the Fellowship published a weekly journal focusing on Charlotte-Mecklenburg public education issues. The journal was distributed by PDF attachment to approximately 3,000 people nationwide. The journal's archive was transferred to this site in late 2006 to keep all the information available to the public. The contents of the PDF files have been indexed by major search engines.
In 1997, Fellowship co-founders Lucy Bush, Mary Nell McPherson and Araminta Johnston were looking for a Charlotte organization that was advocating for retaining the benefits that came from the years in which Charlotte-Mecklenburg peacefully and successfully desegregated its schools. They found that no organization was doing so. So they created the Fellowship and organized parents to speak out at school board meetings. After a fund-raising effort in response to a challenge grant from the Spangler Foundation, the Fellowship hired staff and collaborated with congregations and community organizations. With a judicial ruling that ended court oversight of CMS's desegregation efforts, however, the school board set in motion the changes that resegregated schools along racial and socioeconomic lines. The co-founders' fears have been realized: More and more children each year in CMS are attending essentially one-race schools, and will leave childhood without the daily experience of living together with children from different backgrounds.
During these years, the Fellowship sponsored candidate forums and large public gatherings. Volunteers and staff were fixtures at school board meetings. During that period, the Fellowship did not have a website, so documents from that era are not publicly available.