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GREENSBORO: Gateway to the World Presenter: Raleigh Bailey, Ph.D., UNCG Department of Social Work Moderator: Gale Greenlee, Glenwood Public Library Panelists:

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Presentation on theme: "GREENSBORO: Gateway to the World Presenter: Raleigh Bailey, Ph.D., UNCG Department of Social Work Moderator: Gale Greenlee, Glenwood Public Library Panelists:"— Presentation transcript:

1 GREENSBORO: Gateway to the World Presenter: Raleigh Bailey, Ph.D., UNCG Department of Social Work Moderator: Gale Greenlee, Glenwood Public Library Panelists: Jake Henry, Guilford County Newcomers School Kathy Hinshaw, Center for New North Carolinians (Peru) Omer Omer, NC African Services Coalition (Sudan) H’Tuyet Rahlan, Center for New North Carolinians (Vietnam-Montagnard)

2 Gateway to the world Greensboro is recognized as a Gateway for newcomers Newcomers across US right now, but Greensboro has unique qualities There are 120 first languages in the public schools, An abundance of new churches, temples, mosques generated by newcomers Let’s take a quick glance through history to what has brought us here

3 1708: 100 years before Greensboro The American Indians No known Indian villages in Greensboro/Guilford area 1701, John Lawson, explorer, said village evidence in Mayodan area He visited Keyawee village in Uwharries Triad was well established passageway for the first immigrants- Native Americans traversing between northern and southern nations Prehistory 10,000 year evidence of many native cultures and civilizations

4 Woodland era, Mississippian migration When Europeans arrived, NC area had an estimated 100,000 American Indians, and100 tribes Most were killed or forced away No Europeans or Africans had come into the Greensboro area yet

5 First European visitors were probably Spaniards, missionaries trying to establish a mission in the Cape Fear River area in the early 1500’s First European language spoken in what is now NC- Spanish First English settlers came to Roanoke Island in 1587

6 1758: 50 years before Greensboro Early colonial era German Lutherans came in 1740s – eastern Guilford County They came as secondary migrants from Western Pennsylvania Friedens Lutheran Church established near Gibsonville, 1744 Maintained German language through church schools for about a century

7 English speaking Quakers settling in western Guilford County, 1750’s New Garden Friends Meeting,1764, reported buying its land from Cheraw Indians (Indians probably did not have the European concept of land ownership) Scotch Irish Presbyterians settled in mid Guilford, 1750’s

8 West African forced migrants, slaves, brought to area for farm labor, 1750s Much smaller numbers of Africans than coastal plantations Slaves combined traditional cultures with colonial life

9 1808: Greensboro incorporated as a city Greensboro was not a major gateway for newcomers Population was growing mostly within existing ethnic groups secondary migrants seeking land came from other parts of US African heritage community included slaves and free Some migration west by Quakers opposed to slavery

10 1858: Greensboro 50 years old Newcomers included Irish immigrants, fleeing potato famine A Roman Catholic presence alongside array of Protestants Greensboro, like other parts of the country, torn by slavery issue Active underground railway and resistance toward secession Railroad opened in 1856, connecting Goldsboro and Charlotte Greensboro, as central point, became known as a transportation center Industrialization becomes major factor in local economy

11 1908: Greensboro 100 years old 1882 Chinese Exclusion act, restricted immigration to Europeans Greater national percentage of immigrants than now Greensboro, and most of the nation, still were not initial gateways for immigrants Ellis Island as gateway to industrial north

12 Immigrant waves stoked nation’s economy, but not in the south. Industrial revolution began transforming Greensboro Cones, Benjamins, Sternbergers, brought textile mills Judaism brought new tolerance and acceptance of diversity Greensboro higher education opportunities were growing

13 1958: Greensboro 150 years old Aftermath of World War II led to United Nations refugee programs Independence movements broke colonial ties- in Africa, Asia, Latin America. NC farms shifting to migrant labor, primarily Latino and Caribbean Latinos in Guilford County were farm workers, out of sight Greensboro, as well as other communities, struggling with desegregation

14 1968: Greensboro 160 years old Impact of 1964 Civil Rights Act Impact of 1965 Immigration Act Sit In movement brings newer visibility to Greensboro West African nations sending students to NC A&T State University Ghanaian, Nigerian, Liberian, Sierra Leonian communities established Urban job migration brings thousands of Lumbees, other Indians to Triad Latinos in Guilford County as farm workers, still out of sight

15 1978: Greensboro 170 years old Vietnam War ends, influx of Southeast Asian refugees coming to US Greensboro faith based communities sponsor refugee families Greensboro still works on desegregation issues

16 1988- Greensboro 180 years old Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980 sets up refugee resettlement systems Greensboro refugee resettlement network becomes professionalized Faith communities partner with business, human services, schools Greensboro targets SE Asian refugees Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Montagnard communities established 1986 Immigration Reform & Control Act: path for farmworker citizenship Other new immigrant communities emerging-Korean, Indian, Pakistani-

17 1998- Greensboro 190 years old Farmworkers move into construction, factory work, and bring families 2000 Census recognizes NC as fastest growing Hispanic immigration state Additional refugee resettlement agencies establish Greensboro as base Refugee resettlement expands to Africans: Somalis, Rwandans, Sudanese Smaller European refugee populations include Bosnians, Russian Jews 1996 Immigration Reform and Control Act restricts immigrant entries 1996 Personal Responsibility/Work Opportunity Act restricts services

18 Ethnic enclave communities become magnet for other newcomers Selected African and Latino enclaves grow in Greensboro Other groups grow in other parts of state- Triangle, Asheville, Charlotte Hmong in Hickory area make NC the 4th largest Hmong state Ethnic and faith communities form informal support systems Immigrants are recognized as key to Greensboro and US economic booms Human service systems are unprepared for cultural and linguistic issues

19 2008: Greensboro 200 Year Bicentennial Celebration Over 60,000 people live in immigrant families in Greensboro City is rich in new faith communities-Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu Mainstream churches and new faith communities host newcomers New ethnic businesses, stores, restaurants are abundant Greensboro has largest Montagnard community in world outside Vietnam

20 UNCG has become school of choice for Hmong second generation A&T remains a magnet for people from developing countries GTCC ESOL programs are overenrolled Over 120 first languages are represented in Guilford County Schools Guilford County Schools creates a Newcomer School for new arrivals

21 Aftermath of 9-11 includes increased xenophobia Economic downturn and political scapegoating targets immigrants New restrictions threaten immigrant families and economic development Historic desegregation and civil rights issues have new shades of color Second generation of newcomers bring new challenges and opportunities They want better jobs, better education

22 They will discard some cultural traditions and preserve others Second generation is here to stay, and likes calling Greensboro “home” The diversity of immigrant communities is unique to Greensboro Greensboro’s historic struggle with human rights is also unique As we work to resolve our disparities, embrace tolerance for differences, We will emerge as a unique city in our diversity and cultural richness


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