Using integrated data to center racial equity in local violence prevention work

Violence impacts all of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, but the toll doesn’t fall equally across members of our community. There are pronounced disparities along racial lines. A new, data-focused learning community will help local leaders across sectors find collaborative solutions to prevent and address violence in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

Housed at the University of Pennsylvania, Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy convenes and supports the network of integrated data systems across the country. The Institute for Social Capital (ISC) at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, the city of Charlotte Innovation and Technology Department and Mecklenburg County Criminal Justice Services have been selected to participate in the first cohort of AISP’s Equity in Practice Learning Community.

The Equity in Practice Learning Community will support the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Violence Prevention Data Collaborative and the larger Community Violence Prevention Plan. Both were developed by community members and local leaders to support a comprehensive, multi-level approach to preventing and addressing community violence in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

Participating in the Equity in Practice Learning Community will allow members of the Violence Prevention Data Collaborative to build on existing efforts to find cross-sector, multi-system, and collaborative solutions to prevent and address the racially disparate impacts of community violence. Support from AISP will include training and coaching from expert practitioners, a customized plan for sustainable data infrastructure, and grants to facilitate community participation.

About the local collaborative

The Violence Prevention Data Collaborative is a cross-sector partnership between:

  • Mecklenburg County (Public Health Department, Criminal Justice Services, Department of Social Services, and Community Support Services)
  • The city of Charlotte (Innovation & Technology, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department)
  • Institutional partners, including healthcare systems (Atrium Health and Novant Health)
  • Education systems (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Johnson C. Smith University, and University of North Carolina Charlotte, including the Charlotte Urban Institute and Institute for Social Capital).

The collaborative’s purpose is to leverage institutional resources for cross-sector data sharing, analysis, reporting, and evaluation through the use of integrated data, in support of community violence reduction, prevention, and intervention activities. This work is informed by the Community Violence Prevention Plan.

As part of the AISP Equity in Practice Learning Community cohort, The Charlotte-Mecklenburg team will work closely with other integrated data systems in the cohort to build, test, and implement models that incorporate community voices in key decisions about cross-sector data use, with an emphasis on health equity and racial justice.

The Equity in Practice Learning Community expands the work of the AISP Toolkit for Centering Racial Equity in Data Integration by bringing promising racial equity data and research practices to life in our local community.


The local team plans to make progress on the following objectives through the Equity in Practice Learning Community:

  • Strengthen racial equity practices in key data request and oversight processes, as well as in establishing and maintaining data sharing partnerships.
  • Gain targeted support, capacity-building, and guidance in the development of a new governance infrastructure to meaningfully involve people who are overrepresented in administrative datasets in oversight and decision making.
  • Enhance existing technical infrastructure through the discovery of standards for documenting contextual metadata relevant to racial, social, economic, and health equity.
  • Serve as a model for integrating racial, economic, social, and health equity into cross-sector efforts and extend learnings and impact to other efforts and partners throughout Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

Joining the first cohort of the AISP Equity in Practice Learning Community allows us to move forward collectively to center racial and health equity in local efforts to address and prevent community violence.