Compiled by Ryan Michaels
The Birmingham Times
Birmingham, known as a cradle of civil rights history, today still contains numerous strong voices pushing for change locally and across the country. Within the activist community are those fighting for environmental justice, justice system reform and better connectivity among communities, among other issues. But these individuals all have one thing in common—improved quality of life for all.
Here is one of those voices.
Name: Carlos Chaverst Jr.
Organization: Carlos Chaverst Foundation
Your passion: “We focus on whatever the direct needs are at that moment, and that varies… giveaways, putting up money for information on murders, connecting individuals in need to other organizations. We hold an annual Mother’s Day brunch, where we invite mothers out to a free brunch, and we give away televisions and . . . have deals for all the mothers that come just as a token of appreciation. It’s kind of hard to put a timeline because we are always doing something.”
What does a better Birmingham look like: “A better Birmingham is one where everyone has the same opportunities and economic freedom. Right now, 1 percent of Birmingham lives in wealth…Birmingham’s wealth makeup looks the exact same as the wealth makeup of the entire United States of America. 1 percent of the United States of America lives truly wealthy. Meanwhile, 99 percent of the country is kind of struggling. For me, a better Birmingham is where people have opportunities and equitable jobs and skillsets where they don’t have to rob people, [where] they don’t kill people.
“A better Birmingham is where you have leaders that you truly believe in because they’re truly working on behalf of the people that elected them. A better Birmingham is just making sure that you have a school system that is top notch in the country, that you’re able to brag about your school system . . .I truly believe that Birmingham will not be as progressive as it could be, but it has nothing to do with electing younger people. It has more so to do with electing the right people.
Favorite quote: “Activists are not made. They are born.” – Birmingham activist Frank Matthews
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.