LifestyleUNC Charlotte

Charlotte Urban Institute Partners With Neighborhood Leaders and Residents

Like many Charlotte-neighborhood community members, Jamall Kinard often asks the question: “What’s going on in my neighborhood?” Kinard is the executive director of the Lakeview Neighborhood Alliance and his interest in learning more about his community is rooted in helping lift the historic neighborhood up from concentrated poverty. 

He recently joined the board of directors at the Charlotte Regional Data Trust, a community data repository operated and maintained by UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute and governed by a community and University board of directors, which oversees a regional integrated data system. With on-demand neighborhood information such as education, employment, income, home ownership, health care and transportation access, the ability to create actionable neighborhood snapshots is precisely the type of project the Urban Institute is chartered to support. The board also advises on the broader work of the Charlotte Urban Institute, including the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Quality of Life Explorer, a partnership comprising the Institute, the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. 

“Lakeview is an Opportunity neighborhood,” said Kinard, referencing the city-wide economic mobility initiative focused on decreasing intergenerational poverty and advancing systemic and structural change. There are often negative stereotypes around neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, and biases around those neighborhoods of why they’re poor. We need to have the historical context of how we got here. Access to and understanding of community data is important to developing our neighborhood’s plans and goals.”

Charlotte’s municipal and nonprofit agencies frequently rely on community data to inform their decision making around policy and program development and resource allocation. They look to the Regional Data Trust and the Quality of Life Explorer as reliable sources of neighborhood information.

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