The Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation has awarded the City of Winston-Salem a grant to better serve residents who speak English as a second language. The money will go towards hiring a community coordinator. 

The City of Winston-Salem launched a survey several years ago to gauge concerns for non-English speakers. It found language disparities in essential services, such as health, housing, legal resources, education, and public safety. 

Director of Human Relations/Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the city Wanda Allen-Abraha, says the new language coordinator will work directly with the community to help boost engagement, create opportunities, and also spread information about services and programs that are available. 

She says the city "will be expanding the city's language access efforts, and we will really want to do that by engaging our international populations that are here in Winston-Salem."

The $270,000 is expected to mostly go to the new coordinator’s salary, but also to WinstonNet to provide digital literacy services. Allen-Abraha says this will help people access information about city services, and improve emergency response.

This story was produced by a partnership between WFDD and La Noticia. You can read this story in Spanish at La Noticia.

Eileen Rodriguez is a reporter for both WFDD and La Noticia through Report for America, where she covers COVID-19's impact in the Latino Communities.

Periodista de La Noticia y 88.5 WFDD, Eileen Rodríguez reporta el impacto de COVID-19 en la comunidad Latina en Carolina del Norte. Rodríguez es miembro del cuerpo de periodistas de Report for America 2021-2022

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