2011 – Present

LDI Class 11 ran from February 2011 – January 2012, and involved 28 people from 15 organizations.

Based on its experience and expertise in implementing exhibit-based community dialogues, CBI was invited to partner with Crossroads Charlotte and Discovery Place to develop RACE Exchanges, a community dialogue series offered in conjunction with “RACE: Are We So Different?” – a national exhibition that explores the science, history and everyday impact of race and racism. Over the course of the exhibition, which ran from February – May 2011, more than 2,800 people participated in one of 121 RACE Exchange dialogues.

In Fall 2011 after two-years of purposeful deliberations, CBI leadership approved a broadened and deepened mission. While race and ethnicity remain a core programmatic focus, CBI began 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 also deepened and strengthened its commitment and capacity to address the fundamental matter of equity.

Based on the positive response to a history bus tour with its Leaders Under 40 program, CBI launched a pilot series of three tours in December 2011. Supported in part through a Special Projects Grant from the Arts & Science Council, “Charlotte in Black & White…and More” was born. This on-going series of community tours focuses on how race and ethnicity have impacted key decisions about the City’s growth and development, explores “what’s in the ground” as a result of these decisions, how these decisions are shaping our city’s present and future, and how tour participants can get involved in addressing current community issues. In 2013 CBI will connect the tour with the City’s Quality of Life Dashboard and encourage participants to use this resource as they consider how they can help shape their own neighborhoods.

LDI Class 12 was launched with an orientation in April 2012 and continues to meet monthly through April 2013. Class 12 includes five organizations new to LDI: 26th Judicial District, Carolinas HealthCare, Crisis Assistance Ministry, The LGBT Community Center and Piedmont Natural Gas, LDI’s first for-profit organization.

LU40 Class 2 was launched with an orientation in May 2012 and will conclude in May 2013. Class 2 has engaged 45 people, an increase in participation of 50%.

In October 2012, CBI partnered with the Arts & Science Council to connect participants in CBI’s Leaders Lunch and other community leaders with Aaron Dworkin, a 2005 MacArthur Fellow and President Obama’s first appointee to the National Council on the Arts. Aaron is Founder and President of the Sphinx Organization, a leading national arts organization that focuses on youth development and diversity in classical music. Aaron’s memoir titled “Uncommon Rhythm: A Black, White, Jewish, Jehovah's Witness, Irish Catholic Adoptee's Journey to Leadership” was recently released through Aquarius Press. He is an accomplished acoustic and electric violinist, a spoken-word and visual artist and has a deep interest in politics, world history and issues of economic and social justice.