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.

#ThisIsOurCharlotte: A Statement of Commitment

Commitment hands

The recent shooting and death of Keith Lamont Scott and the subsequent protests have struck a chord deep within our community. They have surfaced questions of who we are, what we think, how we feel, and what we value. To those questions, we would simply say that we are a community which understands that:

  • The anger and pain are real;
  • The issues connected to the reality of racism are not new;
  • The work requires change in systems and structures;
  • Our work will be ongoing and long term and must include additional voices, leadership and perspectives;
  • The changes required will not be easy or comfortable;
  • We must have the courage to listen, to respond and to act now.

We commit ourselves to the continuous work of building and being a community of justice, equity, fairness, and opportunity for all.

As individuals, companies, organizations and congregations that care about Charlotte, we add our signature as our commitment to the long term solution of these questions and challenges and invite others to join us in this evolving and ongoing effort.

Click here to ADD YOUR VOICE

Talking Together in Challenging Times

BridgeDrawing 1997Conf

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


By now each of you is aware of the shooting that took place in Charlotte on Tuesday afternoon (09.21.16) and the reactions that followed last night and into the early morning. Perhaps you may have followed the various statements that have been issued at Wednesday's press conference and through other media sources. Within a story and circumstance that is sadly all too familiar we confront a story that is part of our national narrative but that will unfold over the next days and weeks in our community. We have a chance to see ourselves within the story - some more directly than others - and to work together for understanding, response and change.

We express our condolences to the family of Keith Lamont Scott. We send our support to our colleagues at CMPD and their families. We reach out in concern for all those living or working in affected areas, including in our schools and with our children, and we stand with our leaders as they work to protect and stabilize our city. There are harsh realities, deep challenges and rich opportunity in what has taken place – the harsh realities of what is in our nation’s and our city’s ground with regard to race, but the rich opportunity to build connections and bridges where none exist and to acknowledge our shared history as we work to move forward together.

In this spirit we offer these questions for reflection:

What has been your immediate feeling upon learning about what has happened? Have these feelings shifted or become more complex? If so, how?
What is the dominant story you are telling yourself and others about what happened? What other stories are you hearing? Who is telling these stories? Whose story don’t you know or understand?

How can we – as leaders and individuals - connect and stand with those who are vulnerable and marginalized in our community?

What must we confront that’s “in the ground” in our community and in ourselves in order to interrupt the culture of fear of and violence toward “the other” – whomever that may be in our worlds and spheres?

To download the "Talking Together in Challenging Times" discussion guide, click here

Also, Click here to view additional Talk About Guides.

Holding the Center

 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

CBI Sponsors

 cityofcharlotte  mecklenburg  wellsfargo
charlotte-mec-com  leon-levine-logo    art-science-council
bankofamerica  TIAA logo NEW    duke-energy










AT&T | Balfour Beatty Construction | Blumenthal Foundation | Charlotte Center City Partners
Charlotte Lesbian & Gay Fund | Charter Communications | Cigna | CREW | Davidson College | Deloitte
Fifth Third Bank | Foundation For The Carolinas | McGuire Woods | Moore & Van Allen
National Gypsum Company | Norsan Media Group | PNC Bank | RSM US
University of North Carolina - Charlotte