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Charlotte Journalists Pledge Humane Treatment of Immigrant Subjects

Posted: Jul 17, 2012

 Creative Loafing, Charlotte, the leading alternative weekly publication in Charlotte, N.C., for over 25 years, has recently pledged to drop the i-word. The weekly made the change thanks to the local Drop the I-Word campaign led by United 4 the Dream, the youth group of the Latin American Coalition. This is a huge victory for the youth in Charlotte and for all of us working to get journalists to Drop the I-Word.

Creative Loafing’s print edition reaches more than 276,000 readers and last week that audience saw the campaign on the cover. But more importantly, moving forward they will see immigration pieces that refer to people as being “undocumented immigrants” and not “illegal immigrants.”

Drop the I-Word members spent a few hours celebrating by spreading the news downtown, passing out copies of the paper. They are energized about reaching more outlets and getting them to change their i-word policies. They’ve reached other print and broadcast outlets locally that are now considering policy changes. Thanks to their tireless efforts, last year, Mike Collins, host of “Charlotte Talks” at WFAE, the local NPR station, signed the pledge to drop the i-word and Jennifer Roberts, chair of the Mecklenburg County Commission also signed the pledge.

The journalists at Creative Loafing came to know about the Drop the I-Word campaign in January. When the Charlotte Observer announced the first baby born in the city in 2012, he happened to be Latino, and he was met with hate and the i-word in the comment section of the article that announced his birth. The Drop the I-Word campaign reached out to The Observer again to drop the i-word in an open letter, given that the racially charged connection could be drawn so explicitly in the Observer’s pages. They published the open letter from the group, but they did not drop the i-word. Creative Loafing, however, did take notice and last week they took a stand. United 4 the Dream is hoping others, including the Charlotte Observer, will follow. Read more here.

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