April 10, 2021

SPECIAL SECTION

Men Moving Mountains

Rickey Hall

By Ryan Kouame

 

SENIOR BOARD CHAIR for the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition and Westside Community Land Trust, Rickey Hall, has spent his lifetime working to implement sustainable communitydriven solutions to address systemic social and economic mobility challenges in disenfranchised African-American communities and promoting community-driven initiatives focused on addressing systemic food insecurity and improved health access.

 

Hall believes west side residents can build a new community that harkens back to the self-contained and self-sustaining Black communities of the 1940s and 1950s. He envisions a transformed west side that strikes the proper balance between enhancement and preservation with multifamily housing, commercial developments, and transforming vacant buildings into mixed-use spaces. His work also focuses on bringing greater food and economic security to West Charlotte through community gardens and co-op markets like the Three Sisters Market.

 

“We’re not a blank slate. There’s a community structure here—an identity, a sense of place,” says Hall. “If you were poor, you didn’t know you were poor because you had such rich resources, like mutual aid societies and people who made sure you got an education. It was a village.”

 

Hall is a native Charlottean and received his bachelor’s degree in organizational communications from Queens University in Charlotte. He has always worked with nonprofit organizations throughout the local community and in addition to his board roles with WBNC and WSCLT, he serves on the CharlotteMecklenburg Housing Partnership Board of Directors.

 

Hall still lives in the same home that he was born and raised in, that his grandmother built in 1951. Real-estate investors ask him to sell it on a daily basis.