As the face of Charlotte changes, so do the organizations representing our city’s diverse population. On October 27, 2008, Charlotte’s City Council voted to merge Charlotte Sister Cities (CSC) and the Mayor’s International Cabinet (MIC), creating the Charlotte International Cabinet (CIC). By combining the resources of the MIC and CSC, the Charlotte International Cabinet can more effectively provide for the growing needs of our community in areas such as business, immigration and education.
The CIC brings synergy to the economic development process. The exchange programs established by CSC, joined with the business relationships shaped by the MIC, can bring new opportunities for investment and partnership. The CIC will accentuate Charlotte’s business, cultural and educational exchanges.
The CIC helps the international community by providing a forum through which they can integrate and communicate easily with elected and civic officials. The Cabinet also gives City leaders comprehensive advice on how to foster international awareness in schools by giving students at all levels of education, primary through post graduate, a globally competitive edge.
The new organization is housed in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center and pulls from a vast volunteer base for community support. The CIC enhances the new effort for cooperation between other international groups in Charlotte, including the planned launch of Global Charlotte, an informative and interactive website.
The Mayor’s International Cabinet begun as an advisory board by Mayor Richard Vinroot in 1992. The MIC soon flourished into a larger organization with a broader international scope after a group of 30+ citizens met with the Mayor, Honorary Consuls, and representatives of Charlotte Sister Cities, the World Affairs Council of Charlotte, International House and the North Carolina World Trade Association- Charlotte to discuss how the MIC could better serve Charlotte’s international community. Over the years, the Cabinet has and continues to spotlight important international issues in the community, advocating solutions and acting as a catalyst to encourage local organizations and businesses to implement these solutions.
Though the Charlotte Sister Cities Committee was formed in 1978, CSC has a history that stretches back to the establishment of Arequipa, Perú, Charlotte's first Sister City in 1962. Today, Charlotte has eight sister cities with which it maintains an active, formalized relationship. They are: Arequipa, Perú (1962); Krefeld,Germany (1985); Baoding, People’s Republic of China (1987); Voronezh, Russia (1991); Limoges, France (1992);Wrocław, Poland (1993); Kumasi, Ghana (1995); and Hadera, Israel (2009). Charlotte Sister Cities programs have made the Queen City a classroom for global understanding through governmental contacts, business interactions, technical exchanges, educational trips, sports exchanges and civilian communications.
The office keeps a detailed history of past MIC and CSC programs; this information is available upon request.