On Labor Day, UNC Charlotte hosted a contingent of international dignitaries on campus as part of the 49er Democracy Experience. In conjunction with the National Democratic Institute and the Charlotte Chamber "Explore Charlotte" site visits, more than 40 visitors participated in a panel discussion about education, held at the EPIC building on campus.
The visitors represented governmental and cultural organizations from Canada, China, Germany, Ireland, Kenya, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and other nations. Many were members of parliament from their countries and from the European Union.
The education site visit also included stops at Johnson C. Smith University and the Governors Village CMS schools in University City. "Explore Charlotte" also features segments related to health care and the energy industry.
The UNC Charlotte event drew dozens of other attendees to hear the panel, which included Chancellor Philip L. Dubois, CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison and Denise Watts, an executive with Charlotte’s Project Lift. Maria Ferguson, executive director of the national Center on Education Policy, moderated the panel.
NDI partnered with the Chamber to develop "Explore Charlotte" as a way of briefing foreign visitors on the cultural, social and economic factors that make Charlotte an inviting place for foreign investment in business, educational partnerships and community programs. As North Carolina's urban research university, UNC Charlotte was integral to the development of the "Explore Charlotte" concept.