Champions of Change
Al Heggins, M.Ed., serves as the City of High Point Human Relations Director. Al had a vision for High Point Human Relations: an equitable & inclusive community. She designed & implemented three programs to jumpstart this effort: affirmative fair housing, the High Point Student Human Relations Commission, and intensive educational outreach about City services and civic engagement opportunities. Al’s department later applied & was selected by UNC’s Institute for the Study of the Americas and the Latino Migration Project for the Building Integrated Communities (BIC) initiative; BIC’s best practices and research based approach to transforming municipalities and counties into equitable and inclusive communities aligned perfectly with her vision. Supported by BIC, Human Relations convened a series of community focus groups comprised of immigrants and non-immigrants; culminating into a 16-point strategic plan to seamlessly integrate its culturally diverse residents. The launch of this plan added two working committees under the City’s Human Relations Commission (the Interfaith Affairs Committee and the International Advisory Committee) and sparked a partnership with the national Welcoming Cities and Counties Initiative.