HAMPTON—For the fourth time since 1972 when Hampton was first named an All-American City, the city was once again selected for the honor in 2023. The other two designations came in 2002 and 2014.
The city was named as one of 20 finalists in March by the National Civic League, which recognizes communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusion, and innovation. This year’s theme was “Creating Thriving Communities Through Youth Engagement.”
The award highlights communities that involve and engage their residents. Hampton submitted three programs including: 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; and community policing and programs that expose young residents, and all community members, to police and provide public safety in positive ways, including summer camps and community events.
“We are happy to designate Hampton as an All-American City,” said National Civic League president Doug Linkhart. “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 All-American Cities award was announced at a conference in Denver, CO earlier in June. The other All-American Cities named for 2023 include Charlotte, NC; Dallas, TX; Davie County, NC; Decatur, GA; Fayetteville, NC; Gonzales, CA; Mesa, AZ; Mount Pleasant, SC; and San Antonio, TX.