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City of Charlotte: 2017 Neighborhood Exchange & Leadership Awards

September 23, 2017 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

Celebrate, Dream and Learn About Strengthening Our Neighborhoods

Attend the City of Charlotte’s 2017 Neighborhood Exchange & Leadership Awards (NEXLA) from 8 a.m.—2 p.m. on Saturday, September 23 at the Charlotte Convention Center.

MORNING KEYNOTE SPEAKER – Krista Nightengale of the Better Block Foundation

Better Block is an urban planning nonprofit that educates, equips and empowers communities and their leaders to reshape and reactivate built environments to promote the growth of healthy and vibrant neighborhoods.


More than 250 guests are expected. Each attendee will have the opportunity to propose topics for discussion, and you’ll be able to participate in the discussions that matter most to you.


Stay for lunch to be inspired while celebrating friends and neighborhoods working to keep our community strong.

  • Come meet community leaders like you!
  • Share ideas, accomplishments and ask questions!
  • Inspire your neighbors and friends!
  • Find resources and strategies to tackle your next challenge!
  • Leave inspired and energized!

Event Agenda
8—8:30 a.m. — Check In, Networking, Continental Breakfast

8:30—9 a.m. — Opening, Keynote Speaker 
                               Krista Nightengale, Better Block Foundation

9:10—9:45 a.m. — Brainstorming Topics & Networking Round
                                    Kai Degner, The Listening Corps

10 —12:20 p.m. — Breakout Group Discussions (3 Sessions)

12:30 p.m. — Neighborhood Leadership Awards Luncheon

2 p.m. — Closing

Information tables featuring neighborhood services provided by City and County agencies and resource partners will be available throughout the day.    

Brainstorming Topics & Networking Round

How will it work?

  1. Propose Topics
  2. Group Selects Discussion Topics
  3. Conversations Begin.

It’s simple and easy. In the morning brainstorming session, you will be able to propose an idea or topic to be considered for discussion among the day’s breakout groups. If you want to get started now, you are welcome to submit an idea or topic with your registration.

How could your input be used?

  • Change starts with you. Since you play an important role in impacting neighborhoods, we encourage you to seek neighbors with similar passions and commit to working together to generate action.  Also take time to engage and connect with programs currently offered by the City and its partners that may contribute or lend resources toward accomplishing your goals.
  • Make programs better.  Input shared in discussion groups will be evaluated and may enhance programs currently in place by the City and its partners.
  • Birth of a great idea.  Feedback from the discussions could also spark ideas for new initiatives. Topics of interest and a general summary of the day’s events will be reported to City Council and will also be used toward future training and networking opportunities.

Become a Resource or Neighborhood Partner Today

Resource Partners include agencies or organizations that help support Charlotte neighborhoods, residents or overall community improvement.  As a resource partner, your organization will:

  • Host an information table featuring your services and programs
  • Actively promote the 2017 NEXLA to your stakeholders and the public
  • Participate in the event discussion groups
  • Consider ideas from the discussions for alignment or improvements to your current programs or services
  • Receive recognition on the event website and in printed materials

Neighborhood Partners include neighborhood or community associations within the Charlotte city limits.  As a neighborhood partner, your organization will:

  • Share and promote NEXLA to your residents
  • Encourage attendance by at least 3 active community residents
  • Evaluate discussion topics as opportunities for enhancement within your neighborhood
  • Consider an award nomination to recognize exceptional efforts in and around your community
  • Receive recognition on the event website and in printed material

If you are interested in your organization becoming a partner, enroll here.

Nominate a Group Today for a Neighborhood Leadership Award

All award nominations must be for neighborhood projects or work successfully implemented between Sept. 1, 2016 and Aug. 18, 2017. Please submit nominations by Friday, Aug. 18, 2017.

  • Community Safety Ambassador Award
    • The Community Safety Ambassador Award recognizes neighborhood organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the improvement of police-community relations in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area.
    • Award Criteria:
      • Cultivates effective relationships between residents and policy
      • Uses innovative problem-solving strategies to improve neighborhood safety
      • Implements crime prevention initiatives and addresses other community concerns


  • Embracing Diversity Award
    • The Embracing Diversity Award recognizes a neighborhood group that bridges cultural gaps among neighbors and celebrates diversity in their planning and activities. Efforts may include organizing festivals or gatherings that encourage sharing cultural traditions; reaching out to diverse communities to offer services or assistance; and providing signage or communication tools in multiple languages.
    • Award Criteria:
      • Addresses a need in the community
      • Serves a diverse population
      • Implements a program or event that provides a lasting benefit to the community


  • Good Neighbors Award
    • The Good Neighbors Award recognizes a neighborhood organization that collaborates to improve their community through improvement projects, initiatives and communication resources to address neighborhood beautification, code and regulation compliance, and neighbor engagement.
    • Award Criteria:
      • Collaboration to reduce the number of code enforcement violations
      • Improves community appearance by implementing beautification projects, including landscape improvements, signage, litter and graffiti abatement, community cleanups and home improvements
      • Coordination with City staff to increase community engagement and leverage resources


  • Moving Charlotte Forward Award
    • The Moving Charlotte Forward Award recognizes neighborhoods that have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of transportation choices and safety as well as neighborhood livability. Recognition will be given to neighborhoods that have collaborated with the City to address transportation concerns or have used a grassroots approach to improve their neighborhood’s transportation environment.
    • Award Criteria:
      • Collaboration with City of Charlotte Department of Transportation to educate and build consensus around transportation improvements
      • Grassroots advocacy that promotes walking, biking or the use of transit
      • Implementation of a project that improves safety or connectivity for residents (i.e., installing bike racks, providing benches or other facilities, bike share programs, etc.)


  • Sustainability Leadership Award
    • This category recognizes neighborhood associations that implement sustainability initiatives in their community.
    • Award Criteria: Implementation of sustainability initiatives such as:
      • Local food initiatives (i.e., community gardens, farmers markets, etc.)
      • Resource conservation campaigns (i.e., recycling, composting, water conservation and energy efficiency)
      • Efficiency upgrades of homes, buildings or community facilities
      • Recreational/open space improvements (i.e., trails, landscape or park improvements, and tree planting or tree canopy maintenance projects)
      • Digital resources (i.e., phone applications, websites or other digital resources that encourage sustainable behavior)
      • Planning activities (i.e., sustainability plans, neighborhood improvement plans, etc.)


  • Community Service Award (For Profit)
    • This award recognizes outstanding contributions by a private business or industry with extraordinary commitment to community service that has helped improve the quality of life in local neighborhoods and across Charlotte.  Examples may include neighborhood cleanups, support of youth or elderly initiatives or assistance in repairing, renovating and building affordable housing.
    • Award Criteria:
      • Impact of its contribution
      • History of community service in the Charlotte area
      • Investment of resources either through funding or volunteer hours


  • Community Service Award (Non Profit/Not for Profit)
    • This award recognizes outstanding contributions by a nonprofit organization with extraordinary commitment to community service that has helped improve the quality of life in local neighborhoods and across Charlotte.  Examples may include neighborhood cleanups, support of youth or elderly initiatives or assistance in repairing, renovating and building affordable housing.
    • Award Criteria:
      • Impact of the contribution
      • History of community service in the Charlotte area
      • Innovative techniques employed for the largest impact 


  • Neighborhood – School Engagement Award
    • A neighborhood is a decisive element in building successful school and community partnerships. This award recognizes a neighborhood that has invested in public education through effective engagement.
    • Award Criteria:
      • Community engagement that supports education initiatives in a school
      • Advocacy to develop community engagement by organizations and businesses to engage with a school
      • Support of student learning, emotional and social growth by providing programming and experiences during out of school time
      • Participation in schools by working on the school’s leadership team or with a parent organization
      • Neighborhood advocacy that enriches or enhances daily life in the neighborhood
      • Promoting pride in a neighborhood by identifying and communicating its history and distinct character
  • Submit a nomination for an organization. (Award submissions due by Friday, Aug. 18.)


September 23, 2017
8:00 am - 2:00 pm


City of Charlotte Housing & Neighborhood Services


Charlotte Convention Center
501 S College St
Charlotte, NC 28202 United States
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