Special thanks to Moore & Van Allen for sponsoring this video

Community Building Initiative (CBI) is a nonprofit organization established in 1997 by government and civic leaders to achieve racial and ethnic inclusion and equity in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community. In Fall 2011, after two years of thoughtful deliberations, CBI leadership approved a broadened and deepened mission. While race and ethnicity remain a core programmatic focus, CBI is expanding its work to include other aspects of diversity such as gender, religion, sexual orientation and socio-economic class/economic status. In addition, because of the urgency of the growing economic divide which disproportionally impacts communities of color, CBI will also deepen and strengthen its commitment and capacity to address the fundamental matter of equity.


LDI-thumbThe Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) is a signature 12-month program of Community Building Initiative (CBI) supports non-profit board members and senior staff of non-profit, public and for-profit organizations in the leadership role they and their organizations play in building a more inclusive and equitable Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

LU40-thumbLeaders Under 40 - Connecting Across Difference to Lead & Serve.
As part of Community Building Initiative’s mission to increase the capacity and commitment of individuals and organizations to work for change, CBI itself is committed to convening groups of leaders interested in creating a more just, more inclusive community.

Supporting & Engaging Civic Leaders
As part of its commitment to support and strengthen leadership for inclusion and equity in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, CBI sponsors a Leaders Lunch Series, which brings together leaders from CBI's institutional and organizational partners for quarterly luncheons focused on providing both information and opportunities


LDI-thumbEach two-hour tour engages an average of 55 people and highlights Charlotte’s physical and historical landmarks,
especially those connected to its racial history and heritage as well as to zoning and infrastructure decisions that have contributed to current racially- and economically-segregated neighborhoods.

Listening, Exchanging, Responding
Panelists typically include content specialists, organizational leaders, elected officials, newspaper editors, school board members, congregational leaders and others. Moderators lead a brief discussion with the panelists...

LDI-thumbConvening, Connecting & Celebrating
Since 1999 Community Building Initiative (CBI) has gathered its key funders and community stakeholders once each year in order to update them on our work, celebrate what’s been accomplished, present plans for the year ahead and encourage them to continue to support CBI.

Holding the Center

BridgeDrawing 1997Conf

Drawn by a participant at the initial community building conference in December 1997.


In a recent interview, President Barack Obama stated: "It's hard not to think sometimes that the center might not hold, that things might get worse. We must reject such despair."

Though despair is a fair and legitimate place to go at times like these, we simply cannot stay there. Read more from CBI's Executive Director, Dianne English, as she reflects on recent events through the CBI lens and offers insight into what we as a community must confront and how we can work for change.

To read more, click here

Talking About Orlando

We know that the story of Orlando will continue to evolve, and our reactions will too.  It – like Charleston – will continue to haunt and inspire and confound us as individuals, as groups and as a community.  We are increasingly intrigued by the potential that small groups have to connect and engage people.

In collaboration with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee, CBI offers this simple guide to help you connect with others as you reflect on and talk about what happened in Orlando, what it means for you personally, and what it means for our community here in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.  This relatively simple design that can be used in personal and professional settings, so please download and use it as and where you choose.  In return, we ask that you let us hear from you about the conversations you have and who was involved on CBI's Facebook and Twitter.

To download the "Talking About Orlando" discussion guide, click here

Also, Click here to view additional Talk About Guides.

CBI Sponsors

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Knight Foundation Fund @ FFTC

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