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Posts from the ‘Staff’ Category

Congratulations, Laura! Published article, “Transnationalism and health”



Laura Villa Torres

We are pleased to share the work of our Bilingual Outreach Assistant, Laura Villa Torres. The article, “Transnationalism and health: A systematic literature review on the use of transnationalism in the study of the health practices and behaviors of migrants,” conducted a systematic review to explore if and how transnationalism has been used to study migrants’ health and what a transnational perspective contributes to understanding health practices and behaviors of transnational migrants.

We hope you will enjoy! Click here.


Transnationalism explores social, economic and political processes that occur beyond national borders and has been widely used in migration studies. We conducted a systematic review to explore if and how transnationalism has been used to study migrants’ health and what a transnational perspective contributes to understanding health practices and behaviors of transnational migrants. We identified 26 empirical studies published in peer-reviewed journals that included a transnational perspective to study migrants’ health practices and behaviors. The studies describe the ways in which migrants travel back and forth between countries of destination to countries of origin to receive health care, for reasons related to cost, language, and perceptions of service quality. In addition, the use of services in countries of origin is related to processes of social class transformation and reclaiming of social rights. For those migrants who cannot travel, active participation in transnational networks is a crucial way to remotely access services through phone or email, and to acquire medical supplies and other health-related goods (traditional medicine, home remedies). We conclude with recommendations for future research in this area.

Research spotlight: Occupational science and occupational therapy

The Latino Migration Project is pleased to share the work of UNC Chapel Hill students and faculty conducting research relating to Latin American/Latino migration. Sara Peña, M.S. Candidate in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and Institute for the Study of the Americas program associate, conducted a study entitled, “Responsibility and Belonging: Exploring Adolescent Latino Male Soccer Social Group Identity.”



Latin American immigrants are a fast-growing segment of North Carolina residents, and the incorporation of youth into society is imperative in determining quality of life. Occupational therapists are qualified to address the needs of Latino adolescents as they navigate new social group occupations and identities; yet, to date, there is limited evidence exploring this practice. This study explores how the social group occupation of playing on a school soccer team influences identity. Participants included Latino male middle school soccer players who live in a rural community. The author used a grounded-theory qualitative research methodology, which allowed for the participants to be the experts in their experiences and have the theory emerge from data collected. A focus group was conducted and coded for themes. Implications contribute to an understanding of how Latino adolescent identity and school soccer come together, and suggest further studies regarding social group occupations and Latino adolescents.

For more information, contact Sara Peña,, or Linn Wakeford,

Sanford BIC, COLTS survey residents served by new county transit

Shout out to our survey team in Sanford! Hispanic/Latinx ridership on COLTS Transportation has already increased following the new bus route and marketing, and we are learning more about how COLTS can better serve these residents.

¡Un grito de agradecimiento al equipo de encuesta en Sanford! La tasa de pasajeros hispanos/latinxs en el transito COLTS ya ha aumentado después de la nueva promoción y ruta de autobús, y vamos sabiendo más sobre cómo COLTS puede servir mejor a estos residentes.



Dr. Hannah Gill one of nine individuals and groups honored for public service

Dr. Hannah Gill, director of the Latino Migration Project, was recognized for engaged teaching for her work with the APPLES Service-Learning Global Course Guanajuato. The spring semester course trains bilingual students to understand the contemporary and historical complexities of immigration through research, service-learning with immigrants in North Carolina and travel to communities of migrant origin in Guanajuato, Mexico. The program fosters bi-national relationships with migrant families, secondary schools and foundations in Mexico. The Latino Migration Project is a public educational program on Latin American immigration and integration in North Carolina that includes undergraduate teaching.


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Photos: Winston-Salem Wins National League Of Cities Cultural Diversity Award

Read more here on the City of Winston-Salem site.

The City of Winston-Salem held an April 3, 2017 Special Meeting of the City Council. Councilmember Denise D. Adams presented the First Place National League of Cities award to BIC’s partner, the Winston-Salem Human Relations Department, for their Winston-Salem BIC Newcomers’ Pipeline project.

We congratulate the City and all of the community stakeholders on this collaborative work!

LMP Welcomes Professors Laura Diaz Leal and Maria Eugenia Reyes Ramos

By Laura Villa Torres

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LMP staff (center) with visiting scholars (far right and left)

The Latino Migration Project hosted visiting scholars and professors Laura Diaz Leal and Maria Eugenia Reyes Ramos, from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Unidad Xochimilco.

As part of their visit, professors Diaz Leal and Reyes Ramos presented their research at the Southern Oral History Program and Duke University using some oral histories that are part of the New Roots/Nuevas Raíces collection. They also participated in the APPLES Guanajuato Class where they interacted with students who travel to Guanajuato for their Alternative Spring Break experience.

Visiting scholars also met with local representatives from Mexico and other community leaders, to explore issues faced by the Mexican community in North Carolina. Finally, the professors explored collaborations with the Latino Migration Project to possibly replicate the New Roots Archive in Mexico, as a sister archive, to open the possibility for students exchanges in the future, and to explore the publication of a special edition of their home department´s journal for a publication of Spanish articles to disseminate the work done in NC for Spanish-speaking audiences.

Professors commented about their experience:

“Nuestra experiencia en la UNC , desde la llegada hemos estado atendidas y cuidadas en todo momento, Con un programa bien elaborado de actividades a realizar. Ha sido sorprendente conocer la Universidad de Chapell Hill, con un campues tan grande y bien distribuido y atendido.
Las actividades que han sido planeadas , han sido cubiertas en tiempo y forma y horario y las personas que hemos tenido oportunidad de entrevistar , han sido cordiales, atentas y han accedido a nuestras entrevistas, tanto población inmigrante mexicana como personas que dirigen instituciones.
Han sido un aprendizaje y una experiencia de intercambio importante para nuestro desarrollo, aprendizaje y nuevos conocimientos. Esperamos poder continuar con este intercambio, ya que han muchas cosas que podemos aportar desde Mèxico y muchos aspectos que hemos entendido y que ustedes nos aportan a nosotros.
El campus de la Universidad me ha impresionado mucho por sus dimensiones, por la organización , por la cantidad de programas que ofrece, por las áreas en que se trabaja por el número de alumnos que atiende. Nos impresionan todos los servicios con que cuentan los alumnos, es algo de llamar mucho la atención. Vemos una ciudad universitaria y eso hace muy cómoda la estancia para los alumnos. Como invitadas es conocer otro modelo de universidad, que también nos hace reflexionar en nuestras propias Universidades , en lo que nosotros tenemos en Mèxico y nos da idea de las cuestiones que podríamos implementar allá.”

We were so glad to host such wonderful guests! We hope you will come again!

LMP staff participate in 2017 annual Engagement Units Summit

From left to right: Laura Villa Torres, Jessica White, Sara Peña and Maria

From left to right: LMP team members Laura Villa Torres, Jessica White, Sara Peña and Maria Silvia Ramírez.

The Latino Migration Project (LMP) presented a poster at the annual Engagement Units Summit Feb. 10, which was hosted by the Carolina Engagement Council at the Carolina Club, George Watts Hill Alumni Center. Team members discussed LMP initiatives of Building Integrated Communities, New Roots/Nuevas Raíces, and APPLES Global Course Guanajuato.

The summit focused on engaged experiential education: to enhance student learning and support communities. The summit was for campus engagement units and community partners. Centers, institutes, schools, departments and student organizations sent teams that represented overall units or specific efforts within a unit.

The program included:
Keynote address by Dr. Tania Mitchell, nationally recognized expert in the field of experiential education from the University of Minnesota,
Presentations on successful models for undergraduate, graduate and professional student experiential education, and
Roundtable discussions on how the University could better support and enhance experiential education on campus and with communities.

Building Integrated Communities in “Hometown News”


Click to read the article.

We are pleased to share that Building Integrated Communities is featured in the Sanford Hometown News (Magazine). Thanks again to all for joining Sanford BIC at our Community Kickoff & Celebration. Sanford BIC will continue to update Lee County residents about The Hispanic Council and other upcoming leadership opportunities. You can still read the full plan of new programs for Hispanic/Latinx residents in English or Spanish at

Queremos compartir que Building Integrated Communities aparece en la revista Sanford Hometown News (Revista). Gracias otra vez a todx por unirse a Sanford BIC para nuestro Lanzamiento y Celebración Comunitaria. Sanford BIC seguir actualizándo a los residentes del Condado de Lee sobre el Consejo Hispano y otras oportunidades de liderazgo inminentes. Todavía puede leer el plan completo de los nuevos programas para residentes hispanos/latinos en inglés o español aquí:



The Hometown News (Magazine) is continuing to be published in memory of Alexander C. Brower III to continue his legacy by Gwendolyn Oliphant who is the Registered Agent/Owner and Aunt of the late Alexander C. Brower III. Read the PDF or online version.

Sanford Mayor awards UNC BIC team key to the city


Many thanks to Sanford Building Integrated Communities (BIC) for coming together on November 12, 2016, to celebrate their incredible accomplishments. We are honored that the City of Sanford awarded keys to Latino Migration Project Director Dr. Hannah Gill and BIC Researcher and Coordinator Jessica White in recognition of the statewide BIC initiative. sanford_cropped_2Congratulations, team!


Building Integrated Communities (BIC) is a statewide initiative that helps North Carolina local governments successfully engage with immigrants and refugee populations in order to improve public safety, promote economic development, enhance communication, and improve relationships. As a result of working with BIC, local governments and diverse community stakeholders have the tools to generate locally-relevant strategies to strengthen immigrant civic engagement, linguistic achievement, and economic/educational advancement.

The program is supported by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

Photo Gallery: 2016 UNC APPLES Global Course Guanajuato

We are so pleased to share a couple of photos from the 2016 UNC in Guanajuato class! Many thanks to Laura Villa Torres for sharing, we hope you will enjoy!