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Municipalities, Immigrant Communities, and Title VI Compliance

Faculty Adviser Deborah Weissman welcomes the group

Faculty Adviser Deborah Weissman welcomes the group

Over 20 students and community members gathered in Chapel Hill for a UNC School of Law Human Rights Policy Seminar presentation called, “Municipalities, Immigrant Communities, and Title VI compliance.” The presentation highlighted Building Integrated Communities and language rights.

Reef Ivey II Distinguished Professor of Law and Faculty Adviser Deborah Weissman began the program with an introduction of the UNC School of Law students and the preliminary draft of a policy project to be completed during summer 2015.

The brief has four sections:

  • Law, Legal Norms, and Language Rights
  • Assessments
  • Oversight, Compliance, and Best Practices
  • Special Populations—Unaccompanied Minors
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UNC School of Law student Ikee Gardner presents on a survey of law enforcement on the growing international community in NC

The presenters began by highlighting that language is “often decisive in defining differences, and represents perhaps the most notable obstacle that arises as Limited English Proficient speakers (LEPs) weave themselves into the tapestry of North Carolina communities.” The European Union, having 24 official languages, was shown as an ideal model for establishing language rights for all North Carolina residents.

Building Integrated Communities partners in Winston-Salem and High Point were also discussed for their outstanding practices for community integration and language access.

We were so pleased that the Director, Human Relations Department for the City of Winston-Salem, Wanda Allen-Abraha, attended the event as well as Terry Hodges, Compliance Attorney, Office of General Counsel. Hodges’ responsibilities include Title VI compliance in the NC Department of Health and Human Resources local agencies that receive federal assistance.

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Latino Migration Project Director Dr. Hannah Gill (left) with Director, Human Relations Department for the City of Winston-Salem, Wanda Allen-Abraha, J.D.

 

Many thanks to the UNC School of Law Human Rights Policy Seminar students: Ashleigh Davis, Ikee Gardner, Patricia Heyen, Jacob Oakes, Caroline Outten, Leslie Puzo, Shun Ming Yau and Faculty Adviser, Deborah Weissman.