Communities can help immigrants integrate more effectively by drawing on local community members, including the immigrants themselves, according to the “Immigrant Integration in NC: A Summit for Cities and Towns” report released Feb. 7, 2015.
The 15-page report summarizes the activities and recommendations made during a summit held Sept. 17, 2014, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The summit brought together 75 people from 21 counties in North Carolina. Participants came together to share innovative community-based immigration integration practices and to participate in workshops focused on immigrant integration.
Participants shared a wide range of ideas and priorities detailed in the report, including the importance of:
- Linking immigrant, foreign-born and refugee communities.
- Recruiting members from immigrant-led organizations to participate in community leadership.
- Producing bilingual information about community services and facilities.
- Sharing information about how to access transportation systems.
- Drawing upon support from faith leaders from diverse backgrounds.
- Working at both the community level and the policy level to support integration.
- Acknowledging that barriers faced by immigrants can also affect minority and low-incoming community members.
- Investing in public and private sector institutions or facilities that can aid integration.
Participants also discussed shared challenges, such as difficulty securing funding, finding services and swaying the anti-immigration perspectives of some local stakeholders. They concluded with a recommendation to continue to share information statewide and hold annual conferences in future years.
The report was produced by the Latino Migration Project , which provides research and educational expertise on Latin American immigration and integration issues in North Carolina. It is a collaborative program of the Institute for the Study of the Americas and the Center for Global Initiatives at UNC-Chapel Hill. Co-sponsors for the 2014 summit included the UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies, the Center for International Understanding, Uniting NC and the City of High Point Human Relations Department. Funding for the conference was provided by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and the UNC Chapel Hill College of Arts and Sciences.
Participants came from across the state, including the cities and counties of Alamance, Asheville, Burlington, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Greensboro, Goldsboro, High Point, New Hanover, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. In addition to municipal officials, participants included representatives from the private sector; law enforcement agencies; Chambers of Commerce; immigrant and refugee serving organizations; K-12 teachers; and faculty, staff and students from institutions of higher education.
Read or download the full report: http://migration.unc.edu/2015/02/03/new-release-summit-report/
Media contact: Katie Bowler Young, director of global relations, UNC Global, +1.919.962.4504, firstname.lastname@example.org
Latino Migration Project contact: Hannah Gill, Hannah Gill, project director, +1.919.962.5453, email@example.com