Regular Programs Past Events
Race Relations African/Mexican Photo Exhibit
Showcase of Song Beyond Soul and Salsa
Interfaith Community Cartoon Crisis   
International Programs College Civil Rights Exchange
Housing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Noonday Observance  
Youth Outreach Jena 6 Forum
Youth Advisory Council
Free Expression Wall
Latin American Expo
Nexus Race & Gender in the Presidential Election
Tu Comunidad Transforming Race
Trust Talks Women's Empowerment 

Women's Empowerment  (Please click on the images below for a larger picture - use your Back button to return or close the new window)

Human Relations Videos


Race Relations

Black History Month

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, Feb. 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.

 Audience diggs ethiopian napper

Cultural Connections Film Series

Cultural Connections gives the public the opportunity to experience human relations issues through film. The series gives the public the opportunity to connect and learn about our society's cultures. Films give people a safe and inviting opportunity to become engaged in issues that can be difficult to broach.

Juneteenth Festival

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.  

Maya Angelou Juneteenth Juneteenth Forum Dr. Maya Angelou at Juneteenth Event

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 2013 Forum was held at Mount Tabor High School and we would like to thank all of the students that attended to represent their schools.

Students   students with director   

Interfaith Community 

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

Below are images from the  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. 

 Reverend May and Kenyetta Richmond Young Dreamer Recipients 2012 Young Dreamers mlk 2013


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 HUD 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.

Summit Audience Summit Panel Fair Housing Summit panel group

March For Homeless Children

Since 2003, the March for Homeless Children has been an annual tradition in Winston-Salem.  It has 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. 

2004 March for Homeless Children 2005 March for Homeless Children 2008 March for Homeless Children Thumbnail: March for Homeless Children

Trust Talks

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. Mission: 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.


Youth Outreach

Annual Student Human Relations Awards Banquet

Students in grades K-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: City of Winston-Salem, the Committees of the Human Relations Commission, Forsyth Technical Community College, the Law Office of Alan Doorasamy, Sr., PFLAG Winston-Salem, Piedmont Federal, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, the Winston-Salem Police Department and Recreation & Parks Department, the Lexington Human Relations Commission, Elliot Pishko Morgan P.A., Hispanic League of the Piedmont Triad, Union Baptist Church, the Winston-Salem Housing/Neighborhood Development Department, Carolina Green Company, Kidane Mehret Ethiopian Church, Legal Aid of North Carolina, NAACP of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, the Office of the Mayor, Temple Emanuel, the Winston-Salem Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the Winston-Salem Fire Department.  

2007 HRC Banquet Awards 2007 Student Banquet 2011 Elementary School Awardees 2011 Middle School Awardees 2011 High School Awardees

Youth Advisory Council 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.

Girls Painting Free Expression Wall  Young Child Paints Free Expression Wall  Two Girls Paint Wall  Group Painting the Wall     The Finished Product kids yac

International Programs

International Village

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. 

 Picture of Crowd Dancing at International Row Picture of Mosaic Gayageum Ensemble Ethiopian Dress village village2

African/Mexican Photo Exhibits

In 2006, the Human Relations Commission co-sponsored three art exhibitions at the Sawtooth Building that called attention to the common heritage of many of Winston-Salem's Hispanic and African-American residents. One featured exhibit was titled "An African Presence in Mexico: The Photographs of Romualdo Garcia and Wendy Phillips." Also on display in the Sawtooth Building was "Colors of Mexico," an exhibition organized by the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University, and "Going to Carolina del Norte: Narrating Mexican Migrant Experiences," an exhibition organized by the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. Wanda Allen-Abraha, the director of human relations, said that the exhibit is part of the commission’s on-going efforts to improve relations between African-Americans and Hispanics in Winston-Salem. "The majority of the Hispanics in Winston-Salem are descendants of African slaves who settled in Mexico," she said. "They have a common heritage with our black residents."

Beyond Soul and Salsa  

At each Beyond Soul and Salsa forum, community representatives meet to discuss different issues and commonalities relevant to both the African-American and Hispanic populations.

Since its inception in June 2005, forums have been held at churches and community centers around the Winston-Salem area to facilitate dialogue between diverse groups of residents. Panelists have included elected officials, city and federal government officials, local religious leaders, community activists, and many other local organizations

Forum One at El Cordero De Dios Moravian Church
Topics: Stereotypes and misconceptions in and about the African-American and Hispanic communities

African-American Hispanic ForumAfrican-American Hispanic Panel

Forum Two at Southside Baptist Church
Topics: Involving African-Americans and Hispanics in local elections, positive police relations, and community activism

African-American Hispani Panel Forum Three at the Winston Lake YMCA
Topics: Housing Code enforcement, public housing, and gang prevention

Forum Four at the Emmanuel Baptist Church
Topics: Challenges facing adult and student immigrants in the community

Beyond Soul & Salsa Beyond Soul and Salsa 4

Forum Five at the Salvation Army
Topics: Economic development and small business concerns in the African-American and Hispanic communities

Beyond Soul & Salsa Beyond Soul & Salsa Beyond Soul & Salsa

Forum Six at Union Baptist Church
Topics: Various diversity challenges in education

Beyond Soul and Salsa Beyond Soul and Salsa

Forum Seven at Sprague Street Recreation Center
Topics: Voter rights, gang prevention, fair housing, and immigration

BSS Panel and Council Member Evelyn Terry BSS Moderators and Panelists BSS Participants

Forum Eight at Gateway YWCA
Topics: 287 (g) concerning immigration law, the city's neighborhood stabilization program, tax myths, and the results of a survey of Hispanic residents
Beyond Soul and Salsa Panelists Beyond Soul and Salsa Moderator Juan Suarez

Forum Nine at Gateway YWCA
Topics: Increasing workplace diversity in the Winston-Salem community
Audience Beyond Soul and Salsa Beyond Soul and Salsa Panel Reverend Doctor Carlton Eversley Audience and Panel at Beyond Soul and Salsa

Forum Ten at the Enrichment Center
Topic: Secure Communities
Beyond Soul & Salsa 10 Beyond Soul and Salsa 10 Image

Cartoon Crisis

Pastor Richard Groves, Imam Dr. Hamdy Radwan, Rabbi Mark Strauss-Cohn and Imam Khalid Griggs discuss the world-wide and local implications of the Islamic Cartoon Crisis and the impact on the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities, sponsored by the Human Relations Commission´s Interfaith Committee.

Religious Cartoon Panel Religious Cartoon Religious Cartoon

College Civil Rights Educational Exchange

(In partnership with Wake Forest University)

Students in the Student Eastern European Youth Leadership Exchange program at Wake Forest University discuss and compare civil rights issues with local college students.

CollegeAdultPanel CollegeAudience CollegeStudentPanel CollegeGroup

Dr. Martin Luther King Day Observance

(In partnership with Mutter Evans and Winston-Salem NAACP)

MLK Luncheon MLK Luncheon MLK Luncheon MLK Luncheon

Jena 6 Forum

College students and community leaders who traveled to Jena, Louisiana learned lessons regarding why Jena 6 is important to our local community. A town hall meeting was also held in Winston-Salem titled “Reflections on Lessons Learned.” Panelists included Rep. Earline Parmon of the North Carolina General Assembly, Stephen Hairston of the NAACP, and several community members from area high schools and colleges. Panelists spoke candidly about the impact of the Jena 6, whether or not a similar incident could occur in Winston-Salem, and what could be learned from the events.

Jena 6 Forum Jena 6 Forum
Latin American Expo

Hispanic residents educate the community about various Spanish-speaking countries and cultures through dance, clothing, and music. In addition, information is available for Hispanic residents about community agencies and services.

The Latin American Expo-Fair is organized by the City of Winston-Salem Human Relations Commission, the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, the Hispanic Center at Forsyth Technical Community College, and the Hispanic Arts Initiative.

Hispanic Expo 2008 Hispanic Expo 2008

Race and Gender in the Presidential Election

The Human Relations Department and Wake Forest University sponsored “Race, Gender and the Presidential Election." The panel was made up of faculty from five colleges in the Winston-Salem area and moderated by the Wake Forest chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society. The forum was focused on discussing the influence of race and gender on the Presidential election, as well as the implications that the outcome would have on civil rights.

Race and Gender Panelists Race and Gender Audience

Transforming Race

A project of the Kenan Institute for the Arts, ACCORD initiative, Transforming Race is done in partnership with David Finn and the Wake Forest Art Department. The project encourages youth to use visual art media to communicate across racial barriers. Wake Forest University art students work in an open-ended format and in consultation with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County high school students. Transforming Race continues the conversation about race begun at the Student Race Relations Forum.

Transforming Race Exhibit Transforming Race Exhibit Transforming Race Exhibit Students Standing Below Multi-Cultural Disney Characters

University UNCSA Women's Empowerment and Community Engagement Partnership

The Winston-Salem Human Relations Department partners with the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) for a series of events promoting community engagement and understanding of social issues among college students. The first event includes college students participating in the Social Justice Training Institute, a program which teaches youth to better understand prejudices and privileges. "Telling Your Story: A Valentine's Community Arts Day" gives children of all races the chance to interact with college students while producing art projects. "The Word Is Women: Stories of Empowerment Workshop" focuses on women leaders and community members sharing a story of a time in their lives when they felt marginalized and/or empowered. Past panelists include Mayor Pro Tempore/Council Member Vivian H. Burke, Angel Hooper, Dr. Mary Niepold, Chevara Orrin, and Dr. Anna Rubino.

Children Drumming Musicians Participants Painting Participants Painting
Word Is Women Introduction Panelists Discussion with Students Panelist Discusses with Students

Nexus Television

Human Relations staff interview various community partners regarding upcoming programs, initiatives, and events.  Recent guests have included Dr. Ken Hoglund of the Wake Forest University Religion Department, Cheryl Harry of Old Salem, and Human Relations Commissioner Mischi Binkley.

Nexus 2011 Interview Nexus TV

Tu Comunidad

Tu Comunidad is a quarterly television show produced by WSTV Digital Media. It originated as a Spanish-speaking show that brings our Hispanic residents vital information on city services and city government initiatives; however, the show is now broadcast in English as well. 

Watch Nexus Television and Tu Comunidad on WSTV Digital Media

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