Initiative for Equity + Innovation

How We Live. How We Learn. How We Relate.

"Through this initiative, we have the ability to embrace the full power of arts and culture to provide opportunities for experiential learning that accelerate progress toward an equitable society, and significantly strengthen and enhance our community."
– David R. Taylor, Gantt Center President & CEO

About The Initiative

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture has added a new dimension to its mission with the launch of our Initiative for Equity + Innovation (IEI), in partnership with Bank of America and former Bank of America Chairman and CEO, Hugh McColl.

Through the arts, the initiative addresses unconscious bias, discrimination and social injustice. IEI, as it has become known, is a bold and direct response to the findings in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force's 2015-16 study on intergenerational poverty and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) "Breaking the Link" study on poverty and educational outcomes. Both reports illuminate longstanding issues of economic mobility, educational inequity and racial divides and issue calls to action from organizations in the community.

The Gantt Center's Initiative for Equity + Innovation (IEI) leverages the Gantt's art exhibitions, its programs and its relationships with the community and business leaders to help close the cultural divide and to develop sustainable ways to promote diversity, inclusion and equity across the community.

IEI consists of six pillars which will be reflected in the Gantt's visual arts and programs this year and demonstrate How We Live, How We Learn and How We Relate as a society:

Six Pillars

  1. Leverage the arts to explore social issues, diffuse tensions and introduce creative responses;
  2. Heighten public awareness on issues of opportunity, fairness and justice;
  3. Engage the public in regular discourse on timely topics and community concerns;
  4. Deepen capacity for understanding and navigating difference throughout the community;
  5. Equip the next generation with knowledge and tools that can serve as a blueprint for future torchbearers;
  6. Empower a broad range of partners, across disciplines, to function effectively as allies in promoting equity.

Key Audiences

Key Audiences

IEI Programs

IEI Programs

Download The Initiative for Equity + Innovation Fact Sheet