JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Johnson City officials have announced that the city is starting a journey to become recognized as a UNICEF Child Friendly City.

According to a release from the city, Johnson City will begin participating in the Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI). The initiative is a two-year process.

CFCI began in 1996 to establish safer and more inclusive frameworks within cities and communities across the globe.

“We’re excited to build upon our relationship with Johnson City, and together, we are dedicated to ensuring that every child has the right to grow up in a safe and secure environment where their voices are heard,” said Jeremy Cole, Managing Director, Southeast Region at UNICEF USA.

Johnson City leaders will conduct situational analyses with leaders from the following communities who are also seeking the recognition:

  • Houston
  • Minneapolis
  • San Fransisco
  • Prince George County

The analysis measures child well-being in each city or community.

Following the analysis, an action plan will be implemented to improve the lives and opportunities for children in these cities.

“Johnson City is honored to be just the fifth municipality in the United States pursuing Child Friendly City designation,” said Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock. “Our children are our most precious resource for they are our future, and partnering with UNICEF USA to create a safer, more inclusive and more promising future for them is something we can all take great pride and comfort in.”

Five goal areas will be identified for Johnson City to improve upon and better empower children.

“Together with our partners – ETSU, Ballad Health, Frontier Health, Johnson City Schools and Johnson City Public Library – we will have a tangible, measurable work plan to ensure an optimum environment for Johnson City’s youth,” Brock said.

Johnson City residents are encouraged to send suggestions and ideas to improve child safety to May Brock by clicking here or by texting CFCI JC to 52886.