Vi Lyles

Mayor Vi Lyles has a bold vision:

For Charlotte to set the standard as an American city for achieving racial equity, social justice, economic opportunity, and upward mobility through transformational public-private partnerships. The initiative strives to provide solutions-driven, measurable strategies that produce equitable access, opportunities, treatment and outcomes for Charlotte’s communities of color.

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Focus Area 1

Bridge the Digital Divide

Create the Center for Digital Equity and provide devices, internet access, and digital literacy education in vulnerable communities.

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Focus Area 2

Invest in Corridors of Opportunity

Improve access to employment, mobility options, housing, and daily services in six business and neighborhood corridors of opportunity. 


Focus Area 3

Transform Johnson C. Smith University for the Future

Position JCSU as a top-tier, career-path-oriented HBCU by growing the university’s academic offerings, recruiting top talent through career-oriented incentives, and appointing a Transformation Leader that will champion positive change.


Focus Area 4

Catalyze Employer Commitment

Advance more Black and Brown leaders in C-suite positions and on boards, develop career paths for students and workforce development programs, and extend corporate policies for equity. 


July 13, 2023

Dear Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative Funders,

As we enter mid-year 2023, we are providing an update on the continued work of the Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative, including funding and key successes within each of its four focus areas thus far. We are pleased to report that the momentum continues as Key Priority Focus areas are making undeniable progress.

December 15, 2022

Nationally recognized public-private partnership focuses on addressing racial inequities in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative announced today that it has surpassed its private-sector fundraising goal of $150 million, thanks to recent donations from Honeywell, Albemarle, and other anonymous contributors.

November 3, 2022

One year ago today, Mayor Vi Lyles announced a bold vision for our city’s future through the Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative (MREI). The goal: For Charlotte toset the standard as an American city where racial equity, social justice, economic opportunity and upward mobility can be achieved through transformational public and private partnerships.

May 13, 2022

The Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative announced a combined $3.7 million in new commitments to the communitywide public-private partnership seeking to advance racial equity in Charlotte. Pledges include $1.7 million from Barings, $1 million from Coca-Cola Consolidated and $1 million from Nucor Corporation.

November 1, 2021

A new $250 million communitywide public-private partnership to advance racial equity in Charlotte was announced Monday at a gathering of community members and civic leaders at Johnson C. Smith University.

Join the effort.

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The Mayor's Racial Equity Initiative