The City of Winston-Salem has hosted and participated in many Black History Month events. The events are aimed toward improving race relations and celebrating the contributions of esteemed African-Americans in the Winston-Salem community.
Showcase of Song
In celebration of Black History Month, the Human Relations Commission sponsored the first-ever "Showcase of Song: An African-American Cultural Celebration," on Tuesday, February 26, in the Salem and Winston Rooms at LJVM Coliseum.
Five choirs and a soloist showcased the link between the African culture and modern-day African-American hymnals and spirituals by including information about the origins of the songs and their cultural significance. This free event brought out over 200 people in attendance and we are already looking forward to our next Showcase of Song.
The Triad Juneteenth Festival, coordinated by Triad Cultural Arts and co-sponsored by the City of Winston-Salem Human Relations Department and various other community organizations, celebrates the freeing of the last group of slaves in America. The festival educates the community about African-American freedom and commemorates the end of slavery. Different cultural entertainment and several forms of African-American Art are featured during the celebration.
Student Race Relations Forum
High School students from each of the public high schools in Forsyth County discuss the state of race relations and stereotypes at their schools. Since its inception in 2002, the annual forum has been held at a different high school each year. The 2020 Forum was held virtually and we would like to thank all of the students that attended to represent their schools.
The Interfaith Community programs are designed in accordance with the Interfaith Committee's Mission Statement: To initiate activities that facilitate the harmonious bringing together of people of various faiths and beliefs in an effort to foster a better understanding of how citizens can live together respectfully as they openly practice their spiritual and religious beliefs. Committee members strive to remain active in activities that promote positive interfaith relations while working to educate youth about the importance of an Interfaith community.
Martin Luther King Jr. Young Dreamers Award
The following are images from 2011, 2012, and 2013 Young Dreamers Award presentations. This award is bestowed upon several young citizens of Winston-Salem to commend and encourage young leaders who have brought about positive and real change in race relations in their communities.
The Winston-Salem Human Relations Department is dedicated to ensuring that all area citizens are treated equally and fairly in their pursuit of renting or owning a home. In addition to providing counseling on issues of housing discrimination, the Human Relations Department sponsors several Fair Housing themed events throughout the year.
Fair Housing Month
In partnership with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Winston-Salem Regional Association of Realtors.
Fair Housing Month is celebrated in recognition of the anniversary of the signing of the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act came just over a century after the Civil Rights Act of 1866 - the first legislation to prohibit racial discrimination in the sale or rental of property. The Fair Housing Act expanded the conditions of discrimination to include judgments based on color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status (families with children) and physical or mental handicap.
To celebrate Fair Housing Month and the laws preventing housing discrimination, Forsyth County and Winston-Salem hold a series of themed events during the month of April. Annual events include the Fair Housing Kick-off Luncheon hosted by the Winston-Salem Regional Association of REALTORS® and the Fair Housing Summit.
March For Homeless Children
Since 2003, the March for Homeless Children has been an annual tradition in Winston-Salem. It has been incorporated into the Winston-Salem Holiday Parade for the past several years. The March for Homeless Children raises awareness of the sobering number of homeless children in our community. Donations are collected on-site by Project HOPE, a local program offered by the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools that addresses the needs of homeless children and their families.
The Winston-Salem Police Department approached the Human Relations Department with a proposed partnership to foster positive dialogue and discussion within the community regarding bettering lines of communication and trust between the police officers and members of the community. Members of the Human Relations staff and the Human Relations Commission agreed to facilitate discussions that would yield the creation of trust and mutual understanding.
To bring together members of diverse communities and its police officers to improve community and police relations, further an authentic community policing culture, and promote dignity, understanding, trust and respect in police and community interactions.
Students in grades Kindergarten to 12 in the public schools are honored for exhibiting inclusive behaviors in their communities and schools despite barriers and obstacles.
Thank you to our sponsors:
Carolina Green Company
City of Winston-Salem
The Committees of the Human Relations Commission
Elliot Pishko Morgan P.A.
Forsyth Technical Community College
Hispanic League of the Piedmont Triad
Kidane Mehret Ethiopian Church
The Law Office of Alan Doorasamy, Sr.
Legal Aid of North Carolina
The Lexington Human Relations Commission
NAACP of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County
The Office of the Mayor
Union Baptist Church
The Winston-Salem Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
The Winston-Salem Fire Department
The Winston-Salem Housing/Neighborhood Development Department
The Winston-Salem Police Department and Recreation and Parks Department
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
Youth Advisory Council (YAC) Free Expression Wall
Each year members of the Youth Advisory Council meet at Winston Square Park to paint their free expression wall. Members of YAC and members of the community gather together and paint positive messages and imagery on the wall. Each year the Youth Advisory Council select a theme and then everyone can paint around the theme.
International Village is a cultural festival that features food, crafts, and educational information about global cultures in Winston-Salem and the Triad. International Row debuted in 2010 and featured Ethiopian and Turkish crafts, Jamaican and Greek cuisine, and various international cultures represented by the Salem College International Club. In 2012 International Row grew into a Village as we took over the entire block of Corpening Plaza. The Human Relations Department looks forward to growing International Village in years to come.