New Community Center Honors First Black Charlotte Councilwoman
She was a trailblazer, very rarely sitting on the sidelines. Today, the legacy of Ella B. Scarborough will take center stage as she’s honored with the newly revealed Ella B. Scarborough Community Resource Center. (CRC)
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to introduce the center to the public. According to a Mecklenburg County news release, the Ella B. Scarborough CRC aims to build community by offering a variety of critical services for county residents all in one place. It’s a “one-stop-shop” approach. And that is thanks to the collaborations of local agencies that work together to provide assistance — the County Health and Human Services and select community partners will work in tandem in this single location.
Design of the CRC
The Ella B. Scarborough CRC is the second Mecklenburg County Resource Center. When guests walk in, their attention is brought to a massive glass atrium with a view. These are transparent views of the building’s three floors. The lobby is designed in a way that welcomes visitors and creates a sense of intimacy within the larger space, allowing private conversations between people. When guests come in for a service, they are greeted at check-in and are invited to sit in the waiting area until their appointment time.
When prompted, visitors can move through the building to their service’s designated neighborhood. Guests are able to clearly find their ‘neighborhood in a well-lit public waiting zone that is open and clear as to reduce any visitor anxiety. The atrium is full of natural light specifically designed to allow building staff to visually connect with the guests and their families they are supporting.
This CRC is significant because it bears the name of a Charlotte community icon. Ella Butler Scarborough, who passed away May 2022, was no stranger to the Charlotte community and it’s political arena. She served as Charlotte’s first Black woman elected to the City Council from 1987-1997. She served both her district and at-large. She went on to serve the Board of County Commissioners at-large in 2014 until 2022. She also served as Chair from 2016 to 2018, in which she was the first African American woman to hold that position. During her time on the Board, Commissioner Scarborough was a strong advocate for youth literacy and solutions to homelessness. She also chaired the Board of County Commissioners’ Economic Development Committee. Scarborough made her make in civil rights in the 1960s, too. In her youth, growing up in South Carolina, she was known for fighting for integration and racial justice.
The Ella B Scarborough CRC is located at 430 Stitt Road in northeast Charlotte.