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Winston-Salem BIC

The Winston-Salem BIC (Building Integrated Communities) program began in 2014 as the result of a three-year grant from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The UNC BIC grant is intended to strengthen civic engagement, linguistic achievement, and economic and educational advancement for immigrants in NC municipalities. It helps North Carolina local governments successfully engage with immigrants and refugee populations to improve public safety, promote economic development, enhance communication, and improve relationships. In 2014, the Winston-Salem Human Relations Department competed for and was awarded the three-year grant partnership opportunity with UNC-Chapel Hill. Now, the City of Winston-Salem Human Relations Department is leading the community’s independent administration of its own Winston-Salem Building Integrated Communities (WSBIC) program.

Winston-Salem Building Integrated Communities (BIC) Partnership
F.A.Q

1.    What does BIC mean?
BIC means Building Integrated Communities.  Building Integrated Communities is an initiative of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that strengthens civic engagement, linguistic achievement, and economic and educational advancement for immigrants in NC municipalities. This statewide initiative helps North Carolina local governments successfully engage with immigrants and refugee populations to improve public safety, promote economic development, enhance communication, and improve relationships. 

2.    Is Winston-Salem BIC just for the Hispanic immigrant community?
No; BIC is for all immigrant populations in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.  According to the 2010 U.S. Census Data, Hispanics are the largest immigrant population in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.  

3.    What is Winston-Salem BIC’s Action Plan? 
The Winston-Salem BIC Action Plan focuses on the sharing of information, resources, and services for the betterment of the overall international community in high-impact lifestyle areas such as fair and affordable housing choice, education, health care (including hunger), and transportation.  These areas of focus were determined as a result of community surveys and a series of community outreach meetings throughout the city to identify areas in which immigrants lack access to services and information upon arrival.  The goal is to unite all agencies and organizations in the greater Winston-Salem area in order to create a “one-stop shop” by way of the online Winston-Salem BIC Cultural Resource Guide and the Winston-Salem BIC Pipeline educational workshop series. Through the Pipeline, immigrants, refugees, and/or asylees will matriculate through a series of overview sessions based on the topical areas mentioned above so that they are equipped with pertinent, essential information that is necessary for their successful acclimation into the local community.  Specifically, the Pipeline will take into account language and cultural barriers and differences.  Furthermore, the attendees will be provided with direct contact information and other avenues for follow-up, as needed, in verbal and/or written format through translators and interpreters.  
    
4.    Who are the lead community and city departments on this project?
In addition to the City of Winston-Salem Human Relations Department serving as the lead organizer, key stakeholder organizations include the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, the Hispanic League, the Indo-U.S. Cultural Association, Second Harvest Food Bank, Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital, the World Relief Organization, Novant Health, the Winston-Salem Foundation, the Winston-Salem Police Department, Legal Aid- Winston-Salem Office, the Winston-Salem Department of Transportation, the International Center at Forsyth Technical Community College, Interfaith Winston-Salem, and Compassionate Winston-Salem.   

5.    How can I obtain additional information?
    Please contact City Link 311 or the Human Relations Department at 734.1227.