Trade hub launch takes place at Charlotte’s R400 Summit

International conference kicks off in Charlotte to shape the future 400 years after slavery

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Reconnect, Reconcile, Reclaim, and Rebuild are the words used to describe an international conference that’s happening in Charlotte.

The Park Church is hosting the R400 conference at its conference center. The conference comes on the 400th anniversary of the Transatlantic Slave Trade - when captive Africans arrived in the United States. People from all over gathered not to focus on what happened 400 years ago - but to discuss what can be done during the next 400 years.

“R400 is going to reconcile many things that happened years ago,” R400 Organizer Eric Watson said. “And really push us forward.”

The three day conference will tackle issues that both Africa and America face daily. There were workshops dealing with the environment, education, healthcare, gender discrimination and economics.

The main goal of this conference is to figure out ways Charlotte can participate in trade with Africa. The Park Expo Conference Center has space to make that happen. The conference center has more than 225,000 square feet of space available to make the a Trade Hub a reality.

“The opportunity for businesses to have both office space,” Watson said. “Warehousing space, rework space, incubator space is fantastic. And you think about that locally for Charlotte - that’s an opportunity,” Watson said.

Saturday the Trade Hub will be launched. Organizers say there are already people interested to participate in this effort. Organizers believe reconnecting with Africa by way of trade is a win-win.

“The economic impact of this,” Watson said. “Is one - jobs - increased tax base, goods and services, salaries and benefits so on a local basis has a great time to elevate who we are.”

The conference ends Sunday with a community reveal of African Ancestry for people who attended the conference.

For more information and how you can connect to this movement click here:

Copyright 2019 WBTV. All rights reserved.