Charlotte for All: Resources for New Americans

Flags of different countries

Integration efforts in Charlotte focus on bringing together long-standing residents and new Americans, fostering a mutual understanding and shared sense of community. Recognizing the importance of communication in this process, we are committed to meaningful civic engagement across all city services.

Charlotte: A Certified Welcoming City

Charlotte is proud to be recognized as a Certified Welcoming City, a testament to our dedication to inclusivity and our efforts to ensure immigrants and all new residents feel supported and valued. his designation reflects our commitment to creating a community where everyone can thrive, regardless of where they come from.

In May 2022, the City of Charlotte became the first Certified Welcoming City in the Southeast U.S. Certified Welcoming is a formal designation by Welcoming America for cities and counties that have created policies and programs reflecting their values and commitment to immigrant inclusion.

For Charlotte, the roadmap consisted of improved language access policies, workforce development opportunities for immigrants and strengthening connections with community-based organizations. Highlights from the certification process include the launch of Naturalize Charlotte, a citywide effort to boost naturalization among residents.

Becoming a Certified Welcoming City is not a checked box that will be ignored now that requirements have been met, but a standard to continue to maintain to help the city move forward more equitably. To keep Charlotte's status as a Certified Welcoming City, Charlotte will need to undergo at least one additional audit, continue to meet core requirements and improve its score on additional requirements.

Children dressed in traditional Mariachi outfits and folklore dress

What Being a Certified Welcoming City Means

As a Certified Welcoming City, Charlotte has met comprehensive standards that demonstrate our city's policies and practices are inclusive of all, especially our immigrant communities. This certification, awarded by Welcoming America, signifies our commitment to:

  1. Economic Opportunity: Ensuring immigrants have access to economic opportunities that allow them to contribute fully to our community and achieve their American dream.
  2. Civic Engagement: Promoting civic engagement among immigrants, encouraging them to participate in city governance, community activities and public dialogue.
  3. Equitable Access: Providing equitable access to city services, including education, health care and public safety, ensuring that language and cultural barriers are addressed. 

Diverse group of people at CATS bus stop

Our Commitment Includes:

  • Language Access Services: Offering translation and interpretation services to ensure all residents can navigate city services effectively.
  • Community Outreach: Engaging directly with immigrant communities to understand their needs and adjust services accordingly.
  • Naturalize Charlotte Initiative: Designed to support organizations around the city that provide direct services to legal permanent residents in Charlotte on their path to U.S. citizenship. This program underscores our belief in the value of citizenship as a critical step in full community integration and participation.