Special thanks to Moore & Van Allen for sponsoring this video

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.

Talking About Charleston

In eulogizing Mother Emanuel AME Church's Reverend Clementa Pinckney on June 26, President Obama said, "It would be a betrayal. . .if we allowed ourselves to slip into a comfortable silence again. Once the eulogies have been delivered, once the TV cameras move on, to go back to business as usual -- that's what we so often do to avoid uncomfortable truths about the prejudice that still infects our society. To settle for symbolic gestures without following up with the hard work of more lasting change -- that's how we lose our way again."

Charleston is going "into the ground" whether we talk about it or not - but our hope is to help people get talking. In the spirit of the President's admonition that we not go back to business as usual, CBI and OZS Consulting offer this simple guide to help you connect with others as you reflect on and talk about what happened in Charleston, what it means for you personally, and what it means for our community here in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

CBI and OZS Consulting offer this "Talking about Charleston" discussion guide to our community for use by those who want to talk and engage more deeply within their personal and/or professional circles. 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 Charleston" discussion guide, click here

About Us

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.

Our Vision
To achieve inclusion and equity in our community

Our Mission
To intensify the commitment and increase the capacity of individuals and organizations to build a more inclusive and equitable community.

Our Core Values

Inclusion Values

  • CBI believes the Charlotte Mecklenburg community will be at its best when all individuals and identity groups are valued and treated with respect.  
  • Identity groups are composed of individuals who share common characteristics such as race, economic status, sexual orientation, age, gender, nationality, ethnicity, religious backgrounds, or physical ability.
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg will be inclusive when all individuals and identity groups feel welcomed and are welcomed to participate fully in the political, legal, social and cultural life of this community. 

Equity Values

  • CBI believes our community will be equitable when all individuals and identity groups have equal rights under the law, access to livelihood, education, healthcare, and other resources and when life outcomes are not predictable on the basis of identity.
  • CBI recognizes that historical and contemporary power structures have created disproportionate opportunities and barriers, at times over-advantaging some identities and under-advantaging others.  We are committed to engaging and transforming individuals and organizations that are knowingly, or unknowingly, perpetuating these inequitable power structures. 

CBI believes these inclusion and equity values make common sense, business sense and moral sense, and we are committed to these ideals for the benefit of this generation and generations to come.

Our Values in Action

  • CBI makes connections across difference to raise awareness and equips people with skills to inspire response and action.
  • CBI partners with individuals and organizations to provide a platform to grapple with timely and significant issues relating to access, equity and inclusion.
  • CBI offers expertise in community engagement, dialogue and leadership and organizational development to bridge differences in our community, transform power structures that perpetuate exclusion and inequity and create pathways for greater inclusion and equity in our community.
  • Finally, CBI recognizes that there may be situations that call for a heightened public response in order to be true to our mission and core values.  Certain cases of systemic or institutional exclusion, denial of legal rights, or perpetuation of inequity may demand that CBI speak out or convene a special forum or take other actions including resolutions, letters to newspapers or other media, speaking out at public meetings or other communiques. 
    Adopted by the CBI Board of Directors on December 4th 2013