June 12, 2023 — Hampton was named an All-America City by the National Civic League, one of the top 10 in the country. The designation was conferred on Sunday evening at an awards ceremony in Denver.
The award highlights communities that involve and engage their residents. This year had a focus on youth voices in the community. Hampton submitted three programs:
- Hampton City Schools’ reinvention and transformation into the academies through a process that involved educators, parents, students, businesses and other employers;
- Programs for youth and young adults that focus on working with families to create positive change and supporting programs that offer job-readiness, as well as social and emotional skills;
- Community policing and programs that expose young residents (and all community members) to police and public safety in positive ways, including summer camps and community events.
This is the fourth time Hampton has been designated an All-America City, with previous wins in 1972, 2002, and 2014.
National Civic League President Doug Linkhart said: "We are happy to designate Hampton as an All-America City. Through their application and presentation, they showed that they are among the best in America at engaging youth and other residents to address important challenges.”
Most cities had youth commissions and programs that allowed youth a place to voice their ideas and concerns. Leaders emphasized that it wasn’t enough to listen to young people — the top cities actually reacted to the concerns and implemented changes in response. The other All-America Cities for 2023 are Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; Davie County, N.C.; Decatur, Ga.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Gonzales, Calif.; Mesa, Ariz.; Mount Pleasant, S.C.; and San Antonio.
The award capped off several days of presentations and discussions by the 20 cities who were finalists for the award. Communities came together to share ideas on their programs, from a youth poet laureate to awareness for autistic children, youth cultural programs, career and technical programs, a new cultural and community center, and more.
The National Civic League, founded in 1894, is a non-profit that advances inclusive civic engagement through community assistance programs, including tools, trainings and facilitation services, award and recognition programs, and nationally recognized research and publications.