Lowe’s is proud to help highlight Black Charlotteans making a difference in the Queen City. Learn more about how Lowe’s is helping to shape Charlotte.

In her work at LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), Ralphine Caldwell has played a leading role in some of Charlotte’s biggest community initiatives, including a multi-pronged effort to build more affordable housing. Lesser known is the work she has done to strengthen Charlotte’s Black-owned businesses.

During the pandemic, LISC awarded more than $3 million to local businesses, primarily in Charlotte’s West End communities. Along with the financing, the businesses also got technical support.

What inspires your work?

Truthfully, my inspiration comes from the work I am doing that directly impacts the community, its residents and children, and a community’s progressive evolution. And this is the inspiration that has carried me for the 18 years that I have been doing this work.  

What makes Charlotte special?

I have to tell you, I love this city! It is thriving, beautiful, accessible and there are so many interesting and great leaders here who truly want the best for Charlotte. We know how to come together to make things happen. My professional development and personal satisfaction has been spurred by what this city has to offer. 

Who is/was your greatest inspiration and why?

Clearly, my greatest inspiration has been and continues to be my late father and namesake. Why? Because of the life lessons he taught my brothers and I, the counsel he provided on building a successful career, the importance of treating people the way you want to be treated, and life in general. He was such an incredible person. I remember my father going to work, doing the best he could on his job, and then coming home to take care of us…he was the perfect example of being a great father and leader of our household. I get inspired by what he did. I can still hear his voice in my mind. He often referred to the old Negro spiritual, May the Work I’ve Done Speak for Me, and I follow that premise  through the work that I do every day in the community. I am who I am because of him.


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