Office of Equity, Mobility, and Immigrant Integration
In 2019, the City of Charlotte formed its Office of Equity, Mobility, and Immigrant Integration (EMII) to address systemic and community barriers that limit opportunities for Charlotte's vulnerable communities.
EMII leads the city in carrying out the work identified in the 2015 Immigrant Integration Task Force report, the 2017 Leading on Opportunity report, and the 2018 Assessment of the City of Charlotte's Efforts on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. They also consult on the DEI efforts internally and externally, manage the SAFE Charlotte grant and ATV program, and serve as liaisons for the Immigrant and Refugee community, including implementing the city's Language Access Policy and Plan.
The goals of the office are separated into three areas:
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Create a strategic plan for the coordination of the 120 activities that promote a component of DE&I currently occurring in the organization.
- Assess current partners and their efforts within the DE&I space to improve our internal alignment, create outcome measures and leverage their services across departments.
- Update departmental work plans and the performance review process to meet the city's diversity, equity and inclusion values.
Safety & Economic Mobility
- Support programs like Alternatives to Violence that use a public health model to detect and interrupt conflicts, identify and treat individuals at high risk of involvement in violence, and change social norms that exacerbate violence in the community.
- Partner with United Way on the SAFE Charlotte grant program to provide support to grassroots nonprofits working to address violence in communities.
- Lead the creation of the city's Language Access Plan.
- Work with local naturalization agencies to increase the number of residents who to become US citizens.
- Work with immigrant and refugee serving organizations to address the unique needs of those communities.
Key Programs and Initiatives
Alternatives to Violence
Alternatives to Violence (ATV) works to stop shootings and killings in the Beatties Ford/LaSalle area using a public health model with three primary strategies:
Detecting and interrupting conflicts.
Identifying and treating individuals at high risk of involvement in violence.
Changing social norms that exacerbate violence in the community.
ATV team members are trusted messengers who are based in the community. These trained violence interrupters and outreach workers prevent shootings by identifying and mediating potentially violent conflicts in the community and following up to ensure the conflict does not reignite. ATV outreach workers engage high-risk individuals, talk to them about the costs of violence, and assist them in accessing services and support, including employment. The team works within the community to communicate that violence should not be viewed as usual but as a behavior that can be changed.
The city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are joining a rising national movement to stop violence before it happens and empowering the community with quick, effective techniques to resolve conflict.
Alternatives to Violence, better known as ATV, addresses violent crime as a public health crisis. A trusted network of community advocates that detects and interrupts conflicts, identifies and treats high risk individuals and deters violent behavior through community engagement.
Developed by the nonprofit organization, Cure Violence global, this model has lowered crime rates in several U.S. cities and in countries across the globe.
In Charlotte, work begins at Beatties Ford Road and Lasalle Street. A hotspot for violence where the Alternatives to Violence team is building relationships and trust.
The City of Charlotte has solidified and implemented public safety policy improvements developed through conversations with residents and community leaders. We understand that a safer Charlotte goes beyond changes to policing and public safety. It means tackling systemic issues to ensure a community of equity and opportunity. Taking a holistic approach, we have rolled up our sleeves to address such intertwined factors as unemployment, housing, transportation, and workforce development. Among the improvements in progress, we are empowering more non-uniformed civilians and providing additional community resources for success. Change does not happen overnight. But over time, we have seen meaningful and sustainable improvements in action, with more to come in the year ahead.
Community Violence Data Dashboard
The dashboard is intended to introduce several indicators of community violence including homicides and violent crimes. In the future, this dashboard will include other key indicators of crime including youth violence, intimate partner violence, emergency department visitations and other measures.
Corridors of Opportunity
Corridors are vital to the health of Charlotte’s communities, serving as links that connect people to the resources and businesses they need to live and thrive. With a $38.5 million investment, the City of Charlotte is renewing its commitment to six key corridors.
Hospital Based Violence Intervention
The city will partner with Atrium Health to launch an evidence-based hospital-based violence intervention program that will work with victims of violence who require medical assistance from Atrium.
SAFE Charlotte Grants
As a part of the SAFE Charlotte report recommendations, the city has partner with United Way to deploy grants to Charlotte-based grassroots organizations to address violence.
Certified Welcoming City
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, and new training for the HNS Code Enforcement division.
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 their score on additional requirements.
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Language Access Policy
Charlotte is growing and becoming increasingly diverse, with 30% of its recent growth attributed to immigrant populations. The Queen City is linguistically diverse: one out of every five residents speak a language other than English at home. Approximately 77,000 people in the city identify as speaking English less than very well. In Charlotte, the languages spoken most often other than English are Spanish, Vietnamese, French, Chinese, Arabic, Tamil, Telugu, Tai languages, Hindi, and Russian.
In November 2021, the City of Charlotte approved its language access policy. This policy requires all city departments to provide meaningful access to programs and services for non-English speakers through translation and interpretation services. Improving language access ensures that Charlotte continues to grow as a strong, inclusive, and safe community for all.
While many departments offer language services already, this policy requires all departments to evaluate current practices and increase availability of language services. This may include better translation service in written communications, incorporating translation into more events, and other tactics.