Unite Charlotte was founded in 2016 by United Way of Central Carolinas following civil unrest sparked by the killing of Keith Lamont Scott, an unarmed Black man, by Charlotte police. The initiative’s purpose is to address the structural racism that exists within the nonprofit sector and in the broader community.


Unite Charlotte provides funding and capacity-building programs to local grassroots organizations advancing racial equity and addressing economic mobility. Through this initiative, United Way supports dozens of organizations, the majority founded and led by people of color.



Unite Charlotte expansion


A $1 million contribution from Mecklenburg County in 2020 assisted United Way in expanding Unite Charlotte to further support programs and organizations focused on improving racial equity and increasing social capital.


Unite Charlotte organizations receive both operating funds and funding to participate in capacity-building training with United Way to earn a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University’s Center for Continuing Studies. The Duke University program offers a curriculum tailored to each new funding cohort’s needs to help them understand the business of nonprofit management.


To create a pathway for organizations to pursue future growth, United Way also launched a second tier of Unite Charlotte. Previously funded Unite Charlotte organizations can now compete for second-phase funding to receive larger operating grants and funding to engage in executive leadership development.



33 Unite Charlotte partners in 2021


Unite Charlotte Tier I


Academy of Goal Achievers, Inc. | Offers a youth leadership-mentoring program providing parent empowerment classes, financial literacy classes and career guidance and counseling to parents of students served by the program.


Anthony Morrow Charities | Provides youth empowerment services to the community through programming focused on mind, body and spirit and that promotes mental, physical and spiritual health in youth and young adults.


B.E.A.M. (Building Excellence Affirming Manhood) Foundation | Offers guidance to school-aged youth through mentorship, educational opportunities like a STEM-focused coding academy and a strong volunteer network.


The Be More Foundation | Provides media literacy programming to help youth use media platforms to defy negative stereotypes while creating social messaging regarding fiscal responsibility, productive citizenship, education and family planning.


Black Social Capital Initiative (The Lee Institute) | Offers mentoring and coaching for people of color with an interest in nonprofit leadership. The Lee Institute serves and strengthens organizations and individuals who share a commitment to building great communities.


Block Love Charlotte | Provides job readiness training, financial stability programming and other resources aimed to help people experiencing homelessness become a part of their community.


Carolina Migrant Network | Offers pro-bono immigration legal services through a network of attorneys to assist detained migrants and immigrants facing removal proceedings.


Children of the World Learning Center | Provides high-quality, multicultural, dual-language early care and education to families of varied cultures, languages and incomes to increase school readiness.


Circle de Luz | Offers resources to empower young Latinas and support their personal growth through extensive mentoring, holistic programming and scholarship funds for further education.


For The Struggle, Inc. | Provides advocacy on behalf of communities to fight systemic issues of racial and social injustice, like supporting elderly adults living in Black communities experiencing gentrification.


GardHouse Limited | Offers college students of color internships, professional development and workplace experience with Black-owned businesses to help increase post-graduation employment opportunities.


GenerationNation | Provides K-12 civic literacy curriculums, teacher training and other initiatives for area schools to narrow civic learning gaps and build civic literacy and leadership in students from an early age.


Grooming Greatness Foundation | Offers programs designed to educate, enrich and expose youth to endless possibilities for their futures and help strengthen the bonds between youth and their guardians.


Historic West End Partners, Inc. | Provides quality programs committed to promoting and honoring the West End’s rich culture and heritage while supporting small business development and stimulating economic growth.


Hope Vibes, Inc. | Offers solutions to the homeless epidemic in the Charlotte region by providing dignity through personal hygiene products, mobile laundry and shower vehicles and community conversations.


Immigrant Impact Fund | Provides government and civic leadership resources and education for immigrants, and hosts a Latino Civic Engagement Project.


Lionel Lee Jr. Center for Wellness | Offers supportive services to help individuals and families meet their basic health and wellness needs and provides programs that support and empower the LGBTQ community and vulnerable groups in society.


National Black Child Development Institute – Charlotte | Provides capacity building resources for parents to support their children through school, with a focus on literacy and school-community engagement.


Our Turn, Inc. | Offers opportunities for student-led advocacy by organizing campaigns, leadership development and platforms for young people to advance education reform and education equity.


Premier Foundation of North Carolina | Provides holistic health programming to strengthen the physical, mental and financial well-being of communities, including Grier Heights in Charlotte.


Project B.O.L.T. (Building Outstanding Lives Together) | Offers services focused on addressing local housing, food and employment issues to help build a more inclusive community and improve the quality of life for underserved people.


Project One Scholarship Fund, Inc. | Provides financial assistance as well as mentoring, networking and counseling to students from low-income, single-parent families to attend and graduate from college.


Wilson Oasis | Offers community enrichment programs and mental health counseling and resources to Black men facing barriers when attempting to access care.


Unite Charlotte Tier II


ASPIRE Community Capital | Provides current and future business owners with entrepreneurship education and critical resources needed to start a business and succeed at it, from training and coaching to financial services like micro-loans.


Cops & Barbers, Inc. | Offers opportunities to foster dialogue to improve police-community relations and provides professional training to young adults aspiring to enter the barber profession.


E2D – Eliminate the Digital Divide | Provides employment to high school students who help repair and refurbish donated laptops to help local families have affordable access to at-home technology and digital literacy.


Lakeview Neighborhood Alliance | Offers neighborhood programs, events, meetings and leadership opportunities to ensure a safe, supportive and welcoming community where families can thrive.


Mecklenburg Council of Elders | Provides violence prevention programming, seminars and events and conducts expungement clinics to support Mecklenburg County residents, regardless of past involvement with the criminal justice system.


North End Community Coalition | Offers programming connecting neighbors to opportunities and advocates for an equitable community across Charlotte’s North End neighborhoods.


Profound Gentlemen | Provides teachers of color with opportunities for professional growth, character development and community leadership through local retreats, area conferences and learning cohorts to build a strong community of male educators of color.


Refugee Support Services | Offers intercultural programs and fosters relationships that promote refugee self-sufficiency in a way that empowers refugees to thrive in American society.


Southside Rides | Provides alternative vocational opportunities in auto body repair for post-incarcerated individuals and at-risk populations, teaching them self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship.


West Side Community Land Trust | Offers opportunities to create communities that embody equity, opportunity and wellness with a focus on providing permanently affordable housing with community-centered development in west Charlotte.


Believe in the racial equity work United Way is doing? Support initiatives like Unite Charlotte by making a gift today.