Understanding the needs of North Carolina's increasingly diverse communities

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Go Global NC’s Latino Initiative, founded in 1998, provides year-long professional development programs to business, community, education, and policy leaders from across North Carolina. Leaders develop a fresh approach to understand and take action to address challenges and opportunities in North Carolina’s increasingly diverse communities.

Programs begin with an intense orientation workshop followed by a week-long immersive learning experience in Mexico. Go Global NC leads four action-planning workshops – at one, three, and six months and one year after travel - to create a platform for collaboration and networking to ensure leaders are applying their global experience in North Carolina.

The innovative projects of hundreds of alumni have positively impacted health, education, and policy at local, county, and state levels.

See the Impact Latino Initiative Programs Have on Participants

When a delegation of North Carolina law enforcement officers from Mecklenburg and Union Counties traveled to Mexico with Go Global NC's Latino Initiative, their goal was to build a better understanding of the diverse communities they serve. Please view the video below to hear about their experiences in their own words and voices, which was filmed in both Mexico and North Carolina:

Here is just a sampling of the amazing impact our Latino Initiative alumni are having in their communities:

Health Results

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  • Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte launched a 40-foot mobile clinic, called the Community Care Cruiser, to provide immunizations and primary care to youth up to age 17. About 80 percent of the young people seen by the mobile unit in Mecklenburg County are reporting a Latino/Hispanic background.
  • Wake County is utilizing Lay Health Advisers/Promoters to deliver health education with an emphasis on nutrition and preventing obesity and diabetes.
  • Duke University Health System administrators helped develop a new training program for nurses. Spanish-speaking women who were trained as nurses in countries outside the U.S. are receiving training and education to help prepare them for North Carolina state licensure. This successful initiative is attracting considerable attention from states in the U.S. and in Mexico. The program represented a collaborative effort between the health system, the Duke AHEC, and Duke University’s School of Nursing.
  • FirstHealth of the Carolinas has partnered with Montgomery Community College to train Patient Navigators in Montgomery County to serve as liaisons between their cultural communities and the health care system. Hispanic, Laotian, Hmong and African American students have completed the unique training program designed to help members of ethnically diverse populations maneuver the local health care system and to find needed health information.

Public Safety Results

  • The Smithfield Police Department provided its officers with cultural training that focuses on officer safety and community outreach with the Latino community.
  • The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts established guidelines for certified interpreters to assist Spanish speakers in navigating the judicial system.
  • Leadership from the Union County Courthouse created an informational guide in English and Spanish about court procedures and available interpreter services.

For more information contact Lorena Patterson at (919) 237-7961 or by email: lpatterson@northcarolina.edu