The Changing Face Of Charlotte

Since 2000, North Carolina's Latino population has increased by 111 percent.

The African American population has grown by 18 percent, which is outpacing the white population growth by more than 5-percent.

Some businesses are finding moments of sweetness through these changes.

Success at Yolanda Garcia's Central Avenue hair care business comes after years of struggle.

"20 years ago, It wasn't like this, but now it's very nice," she said.

Astrid Chirinos heads Charlotte's Latin American Chamber of Commerce.

The group is charged with helping businesses beaten down by the recession.

Chirinos said, "We want to make sure those who are still around are growing."

While one group is flexing its economic power, the last 10 years in Charlotte for another minority group has brought a shift in political power.

Today, Mayor Anthony Foxx and five African American representatives control the votes on city council.

"It's not a surprise. It really is diversifying," Foxx said.

That wasn't the case during the last census.

Heinrick Van Vuuren tracks our city's changing faces for the International House, and deals with a  growing demand from new clients.

"There's a big shift in spending power and political power and a lot of organizations are adapting to that," he said. "Especially our immigration the law clinic, the people who come here they need help."

Tolerance and understanding is also an issue.

Parim Patel owns a dry cleaning business in Southeast Charlotte.

He said, "In the last six or seven years, I feel confident that people are accepting."

Trust in many cases is built one day at a time.

" I think that we have come a long way and still have a long way to go," according to Astrid Chirinos.

Going the distance means taking on new challenges in what some feel is an expanding melting pot.