Darryl Gaston, Druid Hills & North End
How has working together with neighborhood leaders from across the City positively influence your own ability to serve your home community?
Working together with the neighborhood leaders from across the city positively influenced my ability to serve my home community by experiencing different styles of leadership. I learned that it is essential for me to speak the language that people can relate with based on their life experiences. As an example, some black people and some white people express themselves differently but it is just semantics. They are expressing the same thing just in a different way.
Has your participation in Stitch Together CLT broken down any misconceptions you had about other parts of Charlotte or other communities?
My participation in Stitch Together CLT has broken down my misconception that white people do not fully understand the injustices that black residents in inner city neighborhoods experience.
What have you accomplished and achieved by coming together with other leaders?
In coming together with other Stitch Together CLT leaders, I have accomplished the ability to pull back and refrain from talking too much and to listen more effectively. In addition, I have experienced the opportunity to draw my circle of neighborhood leaders a little larger by being open and inclusive.
Have you developed a relationship with any other leaders on the Stitch Together CLT Steering Committee or other influencers?
I honestly believe that I have developed at least one special relationship with one of the Stitch Together CLT Steering Committee Members. We are kindred spirits, friends of the road that have become friends of the heart. In addition, one of my influencers that lives in a different neighborhood than I do, has become a resident leader whom I communicate with frequently. We have become effective partners in developing neighborhood boards and building capacity.