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Town of Chapel Hill Receives Duke Energy Foundation Grant

Post Date:09/12/2019 4:25 PM
  •  Duke Grant
    Grant will support emergency messaging for residents with limited English proficiency in Chapel Hill
  • Town of Chapel Hill is one of 65 organizations in North Carolina to collectively receive $1.1 million in Powerful Communities grants from Duke Energy Foundation

The Town of Chapel Hill received a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to improve multilingual emergency communications. Grant funds will be used to produce multilingual critical safety messages in Chapel Hill’s most common languages other than English, including Spanish, Burmese, Karen and Mandarin Chinese. The Town is one of 65 organizations in North Carolina to collectively receive $1.1 million in Powerful Communities grants.

“We appreciate Duke Energy Foundation’s support for our efforts to improve outreach and safety in our diverse community,” said Town Manager Maurice Jones. “Emergency communications that are accessible to all support our community value of being a place for everyone.” 

Over the last several years, Chapel Hill has become increasingly diverse, attracting residents from all over the world.  According to the latest Census, 16% of Chapel Hill’s population is born outside of the U.S. Through the Building Integrated Communities Project, many immigrant and refugee residents in Chapel Hill identified language access as a key strategy for the Town to more effectively reach them. 

The grant funds will be used to develop a cache of multi-lingual emergency messages – including “do not drink the water,” “hurricane warning,” and “flood warning.” Communications and Public Affairs staff, in collaboration with Housing and Community and Emergency Management staff, will work with community partners and local language service organizations to develop these messages.


Building Integrated Communities: A Town initiative supporting immigrant and refugee residents

The Chapel Hill Building Integrated Communities Project (BIC) is a collaboration among the Town of Chapel Hill, local community groups, residents, and the statewide Building Integrated Communities program at UNC-Chapel Hill. The goals of Chapel Hill BIC are to share and build knowledge about Chapel Hill’s immigrant and refugee communities, improve relationships and communication with these communities, and support resident participation in local government. Since development of an Action Plan, the Town has provided interpretation and translation for public meetings and during emergency situations, purchased interpretation equipment for equipment for Town and community use, added new multilingual books for the Chapel Hill Public Library’s children’s collection, and continued building partnerships with local immigrant and refugee groups.  In addition, the Town continues its initiative to provide funds for Chapel Hill residents seeking DACA renewal assistance. If you are resident in need of DACA renewal assistance please refer to the website at


Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy’s customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts, and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. More information about the foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 125 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

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