2008 – 2010

In response to the turmoil that erupted in the community as a result of the process to appoint a new Mecklenburg County sheriff, CBI partnered with Community Relations Committee and Mecklenburg Ministries on “Salting the Roads,” an open letter to the community. This process led to the development of the “Can We Talk?” Community Conversations series. Three sessions (one each in April, June and November) engaged approximately 450 people from across the community.

In 2008, CBI was awarded a grant from the Fulfilling the Dream Fund of Public Interest Projects to underwrite in-depth work with a Crossroads Charlotte organization on structural racism. CBI approached CMPD to partner in this effort, and CBI continued working with CMPD’s Access, Inclusion & Equity (AIE) Committee throughout 2009.

CBI continued in its role as process manager for Crossroads Charlotte, overseeing the development of a targeted Community Engagement strategy and the ongoing engagement of the organizations that made up the Crossroads Learning Network and in developing and evaluating their initiatives, while also supporting Front Porch Grants and providing opportunities for grant recipients to build relationships with and learn from one another.

Building on the partnership that was established in 2004 when CBI worked with the Levine Museum to offer “Conversations on Courage,” CBI again supported the Levine Museum of the New South to develop and support Speaking of Change, a public dialogue series in conjunction with the Museum’s “Changing Places” exhibit. The dialogues engaged 1,896 people from 110 intact groups over the course of the 10-month project.

CBI celebrated the launch of LDI Class 10, which brought the number of LDI participants to 245.

The Leaders Lunch program continued to convene key community leaders and support them in their role as leaders in working for inclusion and equity.

In later 2010, CBI launched a new program, Leaders Under 40 (LU40), to provide an opportunity for young leaders from the corporate, nonprofit and public sectors to connect with one another personally and work together to create a more equitable and inclusive community. LU40 was designed to be an innovative gathering of influential professionals and community leaders who wanted to explore the building of bridges and the creation of a network for change in Charlotte. With support from its Leaders Lunch participants, who nominated candidates from their organizations, CBI identified a diverse group of 36 emerging leaders to participate in a pilot program. Initially intended to meet once per quarter over a 12-month period, this pilot group actually met eleven times. CBI was awarded a grant from The Leon Levine Foundation to partially underwrite the LU40 pilot. Beginning in November 2010, each session allowed participants to meet others from outside their regular professional and social circles, build authentic personal relationships, support ongoing conversation about significant issues and explore potential collaborations and partnerships. Program design offered intentional opportunities for LU40ers to connect with one another, connect with the community, and connect with leading issues and leaders. At the conclusion of the LU40 pilot, CBI engaged an evaluation specialist to conduct participant focus groups to help gauge the impact of the program, determine any changes to be made to process and/or content and explore how to expand the program going forward.