Last week’s TC Spotlight podcast featured Crystal Wimes-Anderson and her work to bridge the divide in the Twin Counties.
She moved to the area and saw some of the struggles that divided our community. After only a few months, she attended a city council meeting and felt significant issues within the community were not being addressed. This prompted her to run for city council in Ward 3, which includes parts of Nash and Edgecombe counties.
Wimes-Anderson recognized that Ward 3 is among the poorest parts of the city, and it has a reputation for being a place people don’t want to go. She wanted to bring the community together, even those who have different mindsets. She was ready to get to work putting plans into action.
She felt that fear prevented many members of the community from speaking up and asking for change.
While she would not win the race for the city council seat, her dissatisfaction with the fracture in the community led her to start a unity movement. She wanted to bring people of different financial backgrounds, ages, races, and educational backgrounds together. It began when she wanted a picture that reminded her of the diversity within the community.
The picture had over 50 people in downtown Rocky Mount, crossing over the railroad tracks, symbolically bringing Nash and Edgecombe counties and the divided communities together.
She also hosted a Friendsgiving to bring people together over food to share their experiences and backgrounds while building relationships. Wimes-Anderson believes that building relationships is the key to showing how much different people have in common.
The unity movement is looking to foster conversations in the future where people feel safe to share their experiences and talk about traditionally touchy subjects as a community, believing that positive change can come following that dialogue.
Motivated by her faith in God and her own personal challenges, she is starting a non-profit organization called “No Walls.” The goal is to break barriers that prevent people from reaching their potential. She hopes to advocate for youth and their development to assist them in becoming productive members of the community.
She hopes to see more activities available for young people throughout the neighborhoods. In addition, she wants to see more opportunities for all people in the community to come together.