Transformational Initiatives and Projects

Bringing a Brighter future to JCSU

Private contributions from foundations are leading a new era of sustainability and high performance at JCSU, embarked upon by students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners.

Sustainability village
Wide shot of JCSU's Sustainability Village
Sustainability village


Sustainability Village is a Johnson C. Smith University initiative that was launched in 2013 to address food insecurity in areas where residents have little access to healthy food options. The project provides an innovative experience for students by combining academic coursework, service learning, and experiential education opportunities to enhance their understanding of community food systems (CIQ, 2018).

Mayor Lyles announcing The Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative to advance racial equity in Charlotte, N.C.
Mayor's Racial Equity Initiative (MREI)

Multiple private funding partners have pledged $80 million to Johnson C. Smith University through the MREI that will allow the University to play a vital role in the city of Charlotte’s restorative justice efforts. The initiative strives to provide solutions-driven, measurable strategies that produce equitable access, opportunities, treatment and outcomes for Charlotte’s communities of color, while transforming JCSU into a top-tier, career-focused HBCU (MREI, 2022).

The issues we face as a community are bigger, broader and more deep-seated than any one organization can address alone. We need a significant commitment and investment from the private sector to complement and build upon the work being done by the public sector, the community and grassroots organizations. The vision for this effort is to establish a public-private partnership for achieving racial equity, social justice, economic opportunity and upward mobility.

- Mayor Vi Lyles, During the Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative Announcement