Staff Spotlight: Jessica White
Established in 2006, The Latino Migration Project is a collaborative program of the Institute for the Study of the Americas and the Center for Global Initiatives at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Today we are delighted to feature our newest staff member, Jessica White, who works with Building Integrated Communities as a Researcher and Program Coordinator. White took some time out of her work to tell us more about what brought her to North Carolina from the Northeast and explains how we can most likely find her playing music when she’s not in the office.
Q: Jessica, thank you so much for joining us today! We know you recently moved from Massachusetts, can you tell us a little more about what brought you here (UNC, the Latino Migration Project and of course, North Carolina!)?
A: This work with LMP [Latino Migration Project] is really what brought me to UNC. I was specifically looking for an opportunity to use my research background and communications/public education skills in projects that were more participatory, more action- and planning-oriented, and more focused on capacity building. I also believe that research with marginalized communities, in order to be truly ethical, must be motivated at the highest levels by authentic love for those same communities; it was clear to me that the LMP’s programming, as well as its talented and dedicated staff, are fundamentally motivated by love and respect for Latino, immigrant, and refugee people.
I was excited to come to North Carolina itself for the warmer weather, the open land and green space, and the queer-friendly and Latino communities in the RTP area.
Q: Thanks for sharing, we’re certainly glad you’re here! Tell us what you’re looking forward to as Building Integrated Communities Researcher and Program Coordinator.
A: I’m looking forward to uniting my various professional backgrounds to contribute to a better life for immigrants in the United States. I’m specifically looking forward to–and already enjoying!–interacting with the very diverse stakeholders in immigrant integration, and to watching the fruits of programming unfold as dialogue and relationship-building takes place.
Q: How exciting! When you’re not in the office or traveling to visit our partner communities of Sanford and Winston-Salem, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: I love to make music with singing and trumpet. I also like swimming, playing *fútbol, and reading memoirs and historical fiction.
All of those things sounds like great fun. Thank you, Jessica!
Jessica White is a community engagement and research professional from the Latino-majority U.S. city of Reading, PA. She specializes in qualitative research, program evaluation, and communications with Hispanic/Latino, immigrant, and low-income populations. She received a MPH in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Boston University and a BA in Spanish and English from Temple University.