Since 1999, North Carolina and the Republic of Moldova have been partners across multiple sectors including civil emergency operations, trade, cultural exchanges, and coordination of humanitarian efforts. Most people in North Carolina probably aren’t aware of the long-lasting relationship. North Carolina’s Secretary of State Elaine Marshall shares more about the history of the efforts and the good it has done for both the state and Moldova.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — While Law enforcement officers around the country are under scrutiny for policing tactics, 24 men and women in blue from Mecklenburg and Union counties recently traveled to Mexico to gain a better understanding of the Latino communities they police here at home.
The goal of the program was to improve the officers’ cultural understanding by providing insight into the background and traditions of thousands of Latinos and Hispanics living in the state. Major Sherrie Pearsall of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the experience will shape her approach forever.
“It hit so close to home, and we had our debrief and I think everybody in the room cried,” Pearsall said. “When you see other people, it is hard to misunderstand people once you sit at the dinner table.”
Pearsall and her colleagues will spend the next month sharing what they learned with fellow officers. The program – sponsored by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Foundation for the Carolinas, and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and coordinated by Go Global NC – started in 1998; but this was the first year the trip was focused on community policing.
According to the U.S. Census, North Carolina has one of the nation’s fastest-growing Latino populations, and more than half are from Mexico.
Lorena Patterson, program director for the Go Global NC Latino Initiative, said the program’s benefits extend far beyond those who go on the trip.
“If you have the leadership in place with this understanding, and then you get the officers that have direct contact with the community on the same level of understanding, there’s got to be a way that they can work better for their communities,” Patterson said.
Corporal Freddy Karban with the Mint Hill Police Department said he hopes the program expands to include more of his colleagues.
“Having that cultural experience and understand where they’re coming from and how to build those relationships,” Karban said, “I feel like if every officer had the chance to experience this, the possibilities are limitless.”
Officers from Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Union County, Matthews, Monroe, Davidson, Pineville, Huntersville and Mint Hill were on this year’s trip. Go Global NC is looking at ways to expand the program.
Stephanie Carson, Public News Service – NC
Inspired by her participation with Global Teachers South Africa 2016, Leslie Burwell wanted to share that experience with her visual arts students at Northwood High School in Pittsboro, NC. The result was the puppet show “One Home,” created with the help of the Paperhand Puppet Intervention. All proceeds from the November 18-19 shows went to Chatham United Way and LIV Village in South Africa.
From PBS Newshour: New Yorker writer and North Carolinian Lauren Collins shares her experience learning a second language and why it “revealed a world [she] never knew existed.”
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page,” wrote Saint Augustine in the 4th century. North Carolina continues to take steps towards making the state a library of travel opportunities. Today, air travel is an important aspect of global infrastructure to support exploration and commerce. N.C. has non-stop direct flights to 35 destinations in 23 countries around the world, supporting global business, education, service, and tourism. To learn more about this and many of our state’s other global indicators, visit our newly released N.C. Global Engagement Snapshot.
(Photo Courtesy of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority)