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Unmasked: Know Your Vote

Free virtual program
  • About This Program

    The social and political fabric of our city, state, and nation are mirrored by who we elect to hold various offices of the land. Ultimately every aspect of society–from policy changes to funding allocation–passes through the hands of leaders in our government, principally our local government. This third installment of the Unmasked voting series will detail the significance of the roles open for election this November. We will supplement descriptions of these roles with political procedures that followed well known social justice issues for an inclusive understanding of our responsibility in selecting the best candidates for our community's advancement.

    We will review the North Carolina ballot in its entirety, highlighting the impact of local offices, with particular focus on the 3 referenda items on this year's ballot. Going beyond the legalese, city representatives from each of the referenda's respective departments will explain what is being proposed in more general language, as well as the ramifications if these bonds were to be passed. The discussion will be accompanied by voter guide resources with helpful information on each of the ballot’s candidates. By including the voices of pertinent city leaders of the past and present, we offer insight into the influence of these offices on our everyday lives, in hopes of providing our community with a nuanced understanding of the ballot, and thus an informed vote.


    Share your views with us prior to the discussion by participating in a 2-minute survey. All responses are anonymous and not linked to any personal information. Click/tap here to take the survey.

  • How To Participate

    Viewing this program is free and open to the public. To chat during the program and contribute your perspective, you will need a YouTube account with a Gmail email address prior to the program. If you do not have a YouTube account, click here for a step-by-step tutorial on creating a YouTube account.

    Gantt Center's YouTube channel

  • About The Panelists & Moderator

    Pamela Wideman currently serves as the Director of the City of Charlotte's Housing & Neighborhood Services Department. In this role, she is responsible for oversight of the City's Affordable Housing efforts including the Housing Trust Fund, Emergency Repair, Rehabilitation Homelessness and Down Payment Assistance Programs. Additionally, Pam is responsible for the City's Code Enforcement, Community Engagement divisions, the Office of Equity, Mobility and Immigrant Integration, and the Char-Meck 311 Call Center. Ms. Wideman currently serves as a member the International City/County Management Association, the Urban Land Institute, and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators.

    Councilman Larken Egleston, District 1 representative and democrat, was elected in 2017 as the and is serving his second term on council. Egleston serves on the North Carolina advisory committee for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, serves as an advisory board member for Central Piedmont Community College's Culinary Arts program and is a volunteer firefighter for the Long Creek Volunteer Fire Department. He previously served as a member of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Carolinas Chapter Board of Directors. Egleston was also chair of City Council's Charlotte International Cabinet and vice chair of the Charlotte/Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. Egleston served as a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

    Christine Edwards is a civic firebrand that has immersed herself in the art of helping urban communities reach their highest levels of growth, empowerment, and success. A speaker by profession, leader by vocation and entrepreneur by passion, Christine's work involves using her voice to foster civically engaged communities through collaboration, partnership and digital communication. Embodying the essence of her core message, she founded Amplify Consulting that delivers community engagement outreach services, civic education workshops and resources for small businesses pursuing local government contracts. Amplify was founded in 2018 in Charlotte, NC. In her spare time, Christine volunteers, travels, enjoys good southern food and loves seeing urban policy theory play out in everyday life. Public service is her jam.

    Councilman Malcolm Graham, District 2 representative, a businessperson, dedicated public servant and powerful public speaker, especially on the topics of race and discrimination, community, and common-sense gun laws. He is a Charleston, S.C. native who has lived and worked in Charlotte, N.C. for more than 30 years. Malcolm is the brother of Cynthia Graham Hurd, one of the nine victims of the June 2015 Emanuel AME church shootings. Even Malcolm’s “day job” is community centric. He is president of The Center for Supplier Diversity, a company he founded in 2000 and that helps corporations looking to do business with minority-owned small businesses in the community.


    Immediately after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design, Quintel Gwinn spent her formative years at an architecture firm designing large-scale commercial, multi-family housing and community-centered spaces. She used her experience to develop the Home Stylist program for West Elm store associates across the nation. Becoming the first certified Home Stylist for the brand, she implemented learning and design education modules, managed project accounts with builders, and served as a regional mentor for the creative credentialing process. In 2014, she officially launched Quin Gwinn Studio and surged into her creative future.

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