Publishers Letter

Making a statement, taking a stand

It has been hard to miss domestic violence charges in the media this year—mostly with men reported as abusers and women as victims. According to U.S. statistics shared by Safe Alliance, one in four women will be affected by domestic violence at some point in their lives and, each day, three women are killed by their intimate partner.

But this media source gives me so many reasons for optimism this month. In every corner of our philanthropic community, I’ve seen men not using their strength against women, but for women—and for the community at large. For starters, Jared Yerg and his fellow “Growers” and “FUNrazors” are revamping the mission of Movember (similar to No-Shave November), by switching the focus from men’s health to this largely feminine issue of abuse. Together, the men of Beards BeCAUSEare “follicly fighting domestic violence.” Their efforts for their eighth fundraising campaign support Safe Alliance. (See our Wells Fargo Community spotlighton Safe Alliance services)

Beyond the beards, I’ve seen a lot of men in high heels. During the Stiletto Sprint at SouthPark, women fighting ovarian cancer stood tall on stilettos and wore teal wigs, tutus and boas—and so did the men who support them. Dr. James Hall of Levine Cancer Instituteand Dr. Robert Higgins of Carolinas HealthCare System ditched their white coats for the day, dressed in women's attire and ran a sprint with fellow physicians.

At The Fillmore Charlotte, Tom Lane of Center for Intentional Leadership swaggered in high heels across the stage during Dress For Success Charlotte’s Ultimate Power Lunch. He motivated the audience to help outfit and equip women who need a lift along their career paths. Lane and 11 other male leaders—including Charles Bowman of Bank of America, Riley Fields of the Carolina Panthers and Tim Barber of King & Spalding—were photographed in their stilettos for the nonprofit’s Swaggerer of the Month calendar as well.

They aren’t the only men in Charlotte who have been making a statement and taking a stand. Dave Cable of TreesCharlotte welcomed art-gallery crawlers to the Tree Partyat Ciel Gallery to join his movement to expand our tree canopy. Communities In Schools Site Coordinator Cory Bennett spoke during Lowcountry on the Green about his vision for children and the choices they have. And artist Lyle Owerko promoted his exhibition at Mint Museum Uptown to show the community what boomboxes can do for culture.

Whether the men in our nonprofit niche balance gracefully in their stilettos, maintain awe-inspiring beards or simply donate an hour of volunteer time, they set a fine example of the giving spirit that SOCIETY Charlotte celebrates.

Now it’s your turn: we present to you our special Holiday Giving Section. Shop through our pages for ways to get involved—through The Salvation Army’s Angel Trees, Operation Homefront’s programs for military families and more—and ways to spoil yourself with snacks from Suárez Bakery (hint: chocolate chip pumpkin bread). It's that perfect time of year to treat ourselves—and our city—to something sweet.