Outgoing Johnson C. Smith University president Dr. Ronald Carter shared his thoughts on gentrification, education and the best way to help our youth at the Tuesday Morning Breakfast meeting at the Belmont Regional Center.
Carter is scheduled to leave office this summer, but said at the meeting on Tuesday that he will remain a few extra months to help the new president transition into the role of president of JCSU. He did not give any hints on his next plans.
He opened the meeting with a rundown of progress that has happened in NW Corridor and at JCSU. After that, he took questions and that’s when things got interesting.
He offered candid comments about gentrification – “get over it.” He said any new residents with money, including blacks, who move into the neighborhood are part of gentrification. He asked if residents would be happy if all of the white people moved out of the neighborhoods. Carter also used the term self-gentrification to describe people who choose to live in certain areas.
His comments didn’t go over well with the everyone. Nor did his comments about why JCSU ended its education program. He explained that the program wasn’t producing quality students who could pass state requirements.
On mentoring young people: Carter admonished people who say parents aren’t involved. He said the language must change to highlight the positive and build on it rather than starting conversations with a negative tone.
On upward mobility: Carter said until there is guiding logic, improving economic mobility will be a challenge here and nationwide.
Furthermore, Carter, who lived in South Africa for 10 years, says that America is veering more toward apartheid-era South Africa with a minority-majority holding most of the country’s wealth. And like South Africa, Carter warned the youth will rise up.
“We can’t keep having talks about talks. We have to do something. Young people want action. That’s what we saw in September.” he said. “Young people are taking action.”