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2024 Local News Impact Summit

May 16 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

View the livestream here – Starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2024

Held in May each year, the Summit creates an opportunity to go beyond the story. What happens if we come together to workshop solutions and share what we’ve learned across organizations?

This event eliminates the barriers between those working to address the issue and the newsrooms telling the story.

Date: Thursday, May 16
Location: WFAE’s Center for Civic & Community Engagement

301 E 7th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202 United States





Doors Open at 9:30 a.m.

Click here to download a PDF of the 2024 Local News Impact Summit agenda.

Sessions and Panel Discussions
Schedule subject to change.

10:00 am – Welcome

Chris Rudisill | Director, Charlotte Journalism Collaborative

Ju-Don Marshall | President & CEO, WFAE 90.7 FM

10:30 am – Session 1: Tale of Two Cities 

Panelists will discuss a holistic approach to what the City of Charlotte looks like for residents across zip codes exploring poverty, economic mobility and access to core services. How do these things fit into our approach to affordable housing solutions?

Moderated by Ely Portillo | Interim Executive Editor, WFAE 90.7 FM

Panelists include Jamaal Kinard, Executive Consultant for the Lakeview Neighborhood AllianceSalma Villarreal, Director of Leadership Development and Student Wellbeing at Our Bridge for Kids, Melissa Gaston, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the North End Community Coalition, and Monica Holmes, Deputy Planning Director City of Charlotte.

11:30 am – Lunch

12:00 pm – Lunch Program: State of Housing Instability & Homelessness in Mecklenburg County

Mary Ann Priester, author of the 2023 State of Housing Instability & Homelessness Report, will give a debrief on the latest report from Mecklenburg County Community Support Services.

Mary Ann Priester is the Senior Management Analyst, Housing and Homelessness Research Coordinator at Mecklenburg County

12:45 pm – Session 2: Renting in Charlotte

For the first time, North Carolina renters have a statewide organization specifically focused on lobbying for tenants’ rights. What does that mean for Charlotte as the newly formed North Carolina Tenants Union seeks to level the playing field in our tight housing market?

Moderated by Lisa Vernon-Sparks | Race, Culture and Community Engagement Editor, The Charlotte Observer

Panelists include Nick MacLeod, Executive Director of North Carolina Tenants UnionJessica Moreno, Community Organizer with Action NC, Ismaail Qaiyim from Housing Justice Coalition CLT, and local renters in the Charlotte area.

1:45 pm – Break

2:00 pm – Session 3: What does it cost and how do we evolve our strategy?

Bringing together a panel of experts and advocates to discuss the challenges and opportunities for affordable housing in Charlotte.

Moderated by Chris Rudisill, Director, CJC

Panelists include Tonya Jameson, Director of Civic Engagement at Leading on Opportunity, Fred Dodson, COO & EVP of Real Estate at DreamKey Partners, Shannon Green, SVP Organizational Advancement & Development at Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region, and Eliza Hammond, founder of EC Legacy Properties and Legacy Lake Senior Apartments.

3:00 pm – Debrief and Networking

View the livestream here – Starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2024


Click here to view a list of organizations attending the 2024 Local News Impact Summit


Host sponsor: 

Event sponsors: 



View the livestream here – Starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2024

See the schedule and videos from the 2023 Local News Impact Summit — Click here.


WFAE Center for Civic & Community Engagement
301 E 7th Street
Charlotte, NC 28202 United States


Charlotte Journalism Collaborative
View Organizer Website