Building Integrated Communities (BIC) is a community planning and leadership initiative that partners with North Carolina local governments to create inclusive practices and policies for residents born in other countries. Local governments and community stakeholders work together to improve communication, public safety, mobility, entrepreneurship, and leadership of immigrant and refugee residents.
This program is supported by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
Since 2010, the statewide BIC initiative has partnered with the local governments of Chapel Hill, Siler City, Greenville, High Point, Winston-Salem, Washington, and Sanford to create and implement action plans for improving the socio-economic integration of newcomers. To date, more than 2000 foreign-born residents from 26 countries of origin have participated in these planning processes.
The BIC process is driven by the knowledge and networks of immigrant and refugee residents, who work with local governments to facilitate a community assessment, recruit participants to share recommendations, create an action plan, and help local governments sustain efforts over the long-term. The BIC process is language accessible and open to the public.
OutcomesWe conduct a bilingual or multilingual participatory assessment of local demographics, resources, experiences, and challenges. We provide leadership development and capacity building to enhance residents’ knowledge of local government functions. We generate consensus-based strategies to strengthen relationships, address community-identified issues, and support residents’ civic engagement and leadership in local government.
Facilitation and Technical Assistance from UNC
The staff of the BIC program at UNC-Chapel Hill can provide the following to project partners:Project coordination and communications Participatory community assessment and bilingual reporting Workshop planning and facilitation Technical assistance for strategy and implementation Expertise on immigrant integration practices from North Carolina and beyond
BIC works with two local governments on a pro-bono basis for two year cycles. We invite local governments to apply to the 2023-2025 cycle, deadline December 1st, 2022. To learn more about the BIC partnership, visit our program details page here. BIC offers consulting services to local governments, community groups organizations, and businesses. For more information, please contact Hannah Gill, 919-962-5453. Se habla español.
National RecognitionU.S. Mayor’s Association, top ten programs nationwide for Building Inclusive and Compassionate Cities in 2019 –Chapel Hill BIC National League of Cities Award – Winston-Salem BIC Sanford, NC Mayor awards UNC BIC “Key to the City” White House Champions for Change, High Point BIC, Leader Alvena Heggins Impact Award – Anisha Steephen NC AARP Multi-Cultural Award
Director, Latino Migration Project