Enriching North Carolinians' understanding of our new neighbors

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Go Global NC’s Latino Initiative is unique in the nation, connecting North Carolina government and community leaders to a better understanding of their Latino neighbors. The goal is to develop relationships and strategies to positively integrate the Latino community into the fabric of their new North Carolina communities.

Regional teams of local government, health, education, business and nonprofit leaders focus on the opportunities and challenges presented by changing demographics. They then travel to Mexico to experience for themselves life on the other side of the border. Teams return to North Carolina better informed and ready to implement action plans for positive change.

Close to 800 alumni from all regions of North Carolina have participated in the Latino Initiative since its founding in 1998.

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.

National Media Attention

National Public Radio’s Jennifer Luddin traveled on a Latino Initiative program with us. You can listen to her series from October 2006, Policy Makers Get a Cross-Border View of Immigration, here:

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