Carolina del Norte and the New South: Social Work Practice with New Latino Immigrant Communities

  • Lisa de Saxe Zerden UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work
  • Arianna Taboada
  • Quentin Joshua Hinson UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work
Keywords: Latino immigrants, immigration policy, acculturation, Latino HIV/AIDS risks


Over the past decade, the Latino population in North Carolina has increased 111%. More than half of North Carolina Latinos are foreign-born and most face issues related to immigration, acculturation, and often, discrimination. This article provides a brief overview of the historical context in which social workers engaged with immigrant communities, and argues that the profession brings strengths and unique skills to address North Carolina’s Latino immigrant population, historically, and within the current context. Key social demographics of Latino populations, sociopolitical realities, as well as theoretical and methodological issues related to the complex needs of this diverse population group are addressed. Two examples of Latino vulnerability in North Carolina, HIV/AIDS and discriminatory local immigration enforcement practices, are discussed to further highlight the unique strengths and challenges social workers in North Carolina and the New South face when working with Latino immigrants.

Author Biographies

Lisa de Saxe Zerden, UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work
Clinical Assistant Professor
Arianna Taboada
Project Manager at UCLA Art & Global Health Center
Quentin Joshua Hinson, UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work
Clinical Instructor, MSW, LCSW, LCAS