Inside UNC Charlotte -- October 2012 -- 49er Democracy Experience

Uploaded by unccharlottevideo on 03.10.2012

As Charlotte played host to the 2012 Democratic National Convention
UNC Charlotte staked its claim through the 49er Democracy
The university played a lead roll in representing the region
and the state
in the largest event in our city's history.
The 49er Democracy Experience
has been
much more than we have ever thought of the student experiences have been
more vibrant there's been more of them they came fast and quick they're
so much richer and deeper than we could have imagined
we've got a research grant the speakers the opportunities to have national
on our campus our faculty experts are showing up
in news articles around the country I think about
uh... the ten students that UNC Charlotte had in the Washington Center
students that wanted to be engaged in this political process
not partisan
the folks that really do want to make a career in the political world or in the
communications world on how
you present these issues
that really got me energized to hear how these students decided
that they wanted
to participate. The fact that you can make a difference
the fact that you have the power to appeal to your constituents
and to hear what they would like for you to represent
those humanistic values that I think are very intrinsic when it comes to
politics. Even if it was the Republican National Convention I would want to be involved
for the same
process to learn and see it first hand.
You know, yes, this is the Democrats' convention
but you know
when it comes to the city this is good for Charlotte with economic inclusion
and trying to make us a leader in energy
we really try to pave a new path forward for the city.
One of the things I was most hopeful about
was that we would find ways of getting students engaged in the whole
convention process finding volunteer opportunities
getting them internships
and I've really been pleased with the
quality of opportunities that we've
found for students with with the Host Committee, the
Democratic National Convention Committee with outside organizations like CNN and
Fox News and that's exactly what you want to take advantage of in an
opportunity like the convention being here.
This picture here is actually in
one of the studios that they had set up in Gold's Gym.
They being Bloomberg Press so the actual anchors were interviewing
different politicians and
prestigious people and things like that and so it was so awesome to get
to sit there since it's my dream to one day be a political commentator
and sit there and take a picture and the person that I was job shadowing, Paul, who's the
of Bloomberg Business Week he actually came up with the idea, hey why don't you go sit over
there and I'll take your picture so I thought that was really awesome how down to earth he was and
supportive and that was a perfect photo op
here's a more enlarged shot
enlarged shot
of the actual studio that I had my picture taken in
again, it was just awesome for me to see
how they did this total transformation of the entire Gold's Gym, it did not look like a gym at all
uh... within a matter of days. My first tweet was when we got our passes that was thrilling and
and just being able to walk in
and seeing like, I didn't realize that they had transformed Gold's Gym into
that amazing venue
it was just completely done up
and when we got our passes it just made it official so me and Ashley tweeted
our picture
and so all of our friends got to comment
and see what we were doing. I've seen the preparations and
the media welcome party and that was all very interesting
basically the night before the whole week started we began walking around
uptown Charlotte
and seeing the streets so calm and quiet and then very next day having everything
be so hectic is really
kind of funny to watch that evolve
so quickly
well this is the control room for the Bloomberg television
studios that I got to
shadow one of the people who is kind of in charge there I kind of got to see what goes
putting on a live TV show in this hectic environment.
The first thing they put me on, the first major task was to develop the
content for
an all inclusive app for the DNC
The Host Committee was responsible for
a little tab that was just called Charlotte and we went through I
think right now there's a hundred and twenty five
local venues for anything from restaurants to music to bars
anything we felt was unique to Charlotte culture that
wasn't a chain
and we put this all in a really neat app that anyone can download for free
when you're at our screen of the app you're going to have
two dials one for the time that you're willing to spend and one for the
distance you're willing to travel from your current locations GPS track so once you plug
it in
we've gone through
and put in all of the addresses of 125
and the approximate time it would take to go to each one
so it would narrow them down say you have two hours and you're willing to go five miles from where you are
so that's going to narrow it down to
you know a handful of choices
and we have twelve categories that you can go through things like
Farm to Fork Foodie, there's barbeque and bruiser, there's for kids
there's several different categories that narrow it down even further
or you can just hit all and have all the
time and distance in the world
and you get all 125 places
What I hope they get out of it long-term is how engagement matters
in American society you know they're able to talk to
some political leaders and political activists and realize that have an
incredible impact on their community
I'm incredibly passionate about
politics and
business and getting important
influential people together
so I knew I would be involved at some capacity and I knew that the Charlotte community
would allow me to
have that opportunity but I didn't know it
would be this intensive and this beneficial to my career
I think the biggest thing I'll take away from this is the networks and the connections
that I make being in
the political career
or at least I'm trying to go into the political career
the greatest edge you can have are the people you know the connections you make the links you make.
One of the huge things I think I'm gonna take
down the line with me
is I'm gonna be able to tell whoever I'm going to be interacting with that
I got an opportunity to actually be part of history
you know in 2012 when
the convention was hosted here and you know it's the first black
African-American president and so I was
part of that this is really going to be a huge thing for me and I think
that's going to be one of the experiences that I'm going to look back and be like wow
when they put that in textbooks I'm going to be able to be like I was there
I was part of that so I think that's one of the things that
really like I'm going to look back and really be grateful for.
The university has received a steady stream of worldwide news media coverage
as our faculty experts
share their knowledge and tell the Charlotte story
to outlets from nearly every continent
the North Carolina State Treasurer was even seen in national
coverage of a convention event
in her UNC Charlotte scarf
national broadcasts highlighted our main campus.
Once again from
Robinson Hall on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte moderator Gwen Ifill
The convention's impact on our region will be assessed in the research funded by
Duke Energy
UNC Charlotte doctoral, masters and undergraduate students in public policy,
public administration and political science
will conduct the research and the
project will focus on how Charlotte recruited and implemented the DNC
It will also measure perceptions of the convention among Mecklenburg County
in addition to research about the convention
The events in Charlotte provided the stage for unveiling research on an important
issue in our society
the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Forum at Center City
was the backdrop for this report from UNC Charlotte and Howard University
It looks at the disparity and disadvantages facing African-American males
in high poverty and minority schools across the country.
Our research
was charged with changing the conversation
that black males don't want to achieve in school
they're deficits to the educational system and societies. When a student goes to
school their
address makes a huge difference
you hear rhetoric in educational systems
where we want all kids to be prepared for college
or we want all our kids to be
career ready
when they get out of school
but our investigation unfolded based on the address and the zip code of the
they may not be offering
all the classes that are needed
to get into most the prestigious public schools
in the country so
what this does
just based on the school that the kids go to
really puts a barrier of the
entry and
access to
a UNC-Chapel Hill a UNC Charlotte
and that is through no fault of their own.
What I believe is that if you're going to a public school
you should have the opportunity to compete
for any public
in that state
there's a lot of different
things that you can put in the school to promote success
what we see a lot
in political circles right now
are people
we have people saying that the unions are the problem
on the other side of that
I work with BAEO that's the the black organisation for
educational options
and charter school
what both of those sides needs to do and I say this from someone who has
worked with both of them
and who refuses to take a side
what both sides need to do
is to cooperate with each other
and they need to learn that
students come first
and the only way to
effectively address the needs is through
things that we do research and that's where people like me and Dr. Chance comes in
we can give them
research on
what does it take to help
these kids succeed?
I think that
the community at large
has learned that
if they have a project that
they need some passion
and talent
that they will come to UNC Charlotte
think about our students that were involved
in projects like the app
for the DNC creating the app for the Host Committee
you know would they think
that a student an undergraduate student at UNC Charlotte could provide that kind of
energy and talent
great product
So I think that companies I think that organizations in Charlotte will rely on the
talent we have at the university.