Social well-being

From health to housing to education, the institute offers articles and research on a variety of issues affecting social well-being in the 14-county Charlotte region.
 

Articles about social well-being topics

  • Barbara Mackey sits on the front of her home on Joe Louis Street in Paradise. Mackey's lived in the neighborhood since she was 14 and has owned her current home since the late 1980s. Photo: Jonathan McFadden

    Fort Mill’s historic black neighborhood maintains the old, but braces for the new

    From her porch in booming Fort Mill, S.C., Barbara Mackey can point out three houses where neighbors who love her live. One takes her to church every Sunday morning. Another trims her hedges and mows her grass. A third chauffeurs her around town whenever she needs to run errands. “Here, everybody knows everybody,” says Mackey, 77.  Since she was 14, Mackey’s lived here in Paradise, a historic, predominantly black neighborhood just outside downtown Fort Mill off busy S.C. 160. Comprised of streets named after prominent African Americans, Paradise seems like its own island in this bustling Charlotte suburb.
  • Mike Vaughn owns Great Falls Adventures. Here, he guides a tour of Stumpy Pond. Great Falls, S.C. and Badin, N.C., are both hoping to draw visitors, investment and economic revival with ecotourism and paddling on the rivers that flow past what were once thriving textile and steel towns. Photo: Nancy Pierce

    'A wilderness experience': Do rivers hold the key to rebirth for these towns?

    Where the hard rock of the Piedmont gives way to the sandy Coastal Plain, two company towns that lost their companies are looking for economic revival to the rivers that put them on the map. Great Falls in South Carolina and Badin in North Carolina grew up along the geologic fall line beside wild, majestic stretches of whitewater that entrepreneurs harnessed for electricity and for industry, a quintessential American story retold up and down the East Coast in the early 1900s. Now, years after the textile mills in Great Falls quit spinning on the Catawba River and the aluminum smelter in Badin shut its furnaces on the Yadkin, both towns hope to reinvent themselves with a new kind of industry: ecotourism.
  • A mowed yard, traditional fence posts, managed grasslands and a small, forested mountain. For many, the landscape is a vital part of what makes the Uwharries home. Photo: Ruth Ann Grissom.

    Rural by Choice: Navigating identity in the Uwharries

    The narrative around rural areas has often held that people need to leave for a better chance to find success, typically in the city. But for many, leaving the place they love and call home never really feels like an option. Here are seven stories of people who are turning that narrative on its head. 
  • A 2.2-mile section of Carolina Thread Trail weaves through a 358-acre permanently conserved area that’s protected by Catawba Lands Conservancy (CLC) within the Girl Scouts’ Dale Earnhardt Environmental Leadership Campus at Oak Springs in Iredell County. The trail is called Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council Trail. Photo: Nancy Pierce

    Forging connections across the Carolinas – one greenway, trail and waterway at a time

    Natural aesthetic appeal, increased economic vitality, a reason to leave your car behind, a walking and biking connection between communities in two states: Organizers hope to deliver all of that, and more, through the growing Carolina Thread Trail network of greenways, waterways and trails.