Who is Julia?
Julia's is named after one of Charlotte's pioneering public servants, Julia Maulden. As the first volunteer executive director, she helped get Habitat for Humanity started in Charlotte. She not only worked on the first Charlotte Habitat home, she also brought Jimmy Carter to the Optimist Park Neighborhood for a fourteen house Build-a-Thon.
Julia grew up poor in the segregated South, borrowing and working her way through Greensboro Women's College during the Depression. That experience, combined with her religious beliefs shaped the course of her life. She said, "You can't just sit around loving your neighbor abstractly; you have to get out and do something for him." Her public service began in Kannapolis with the local Girl Scout movement where she helped to build the Girl Scout camp that still bears her name - Camp Julia. In 1945 she was named Kannapolis' woman of the year.
In 1960 she moved to Davidson, North Carolina with her family where she became active in the school system for her kids. Her involvement led to her eventual membership in the Charlotte Mecklenburg school board, which lasted from 1966-1974. This time proved to be an extremely turbulent period, when people were openly at odds over the desegregation of schools. With her firm beliefs, she became a strong advocate for integration, despite the risk and ridicule it involved. "Her innate intelligence helped her see the world in broader terms than most people around her," said her Reverend, Will Terry. Julia's determination to fight for what she knew was right earned her Charlotte's Woman of the Year in 1973.
At the age of sixty she resigned from the school board and spent the next eighteen months in the Peace Corps teaching children in the African nation of Zaire in a very challenging environment. When she returned, she spent the next chapter of her life bringing her former students to the US and paying their way through prominent schools such as Columbia University and Davidson College. In 1991 she told the Charlotte Observer's Tom Bradbury that to ask yourself, "Am I better off?" is the wrong question. "Are we better off?" is the question. Because of Julia, we know that the answer to that questions is "Yes." All proceeds from Julia's Coffee Shop will go toward building homes for families in need.