August 14th, 2014
Welcoming America is pleased to announce a series of three webinars on what local communities can do to help children fleeing violence, highlighting how:
- Various sectors are working together in their communities to respond with compassion and empathy to the children fleeing violence.
- Local leaders and community partners are acting as the moral compass of the nation, reframing the debate and taking action, such as through National Welcoming Week.
- Our experience in working with receiving communities, the communities where immigrants and refugees are arriving, can help you to create a welcoming climate.
Talking about Children Fleeing Violence: What Works, What Doesn’t
Monday, August 18, 12-1pm EST
July 31st, 2014
Update: For resources on unaccompanied children – including ways you can help – click here.
We stand at a historic moment for our country. Unaccompanied children fleeing violence in Central America are being re-settled across the U.S., and regardless of what happens in Washington, it is local communities who must act as the moral compass of our nation.
Now, more than ever, it is important to remember what our local partners witness daily:welcoming communities are more prosperous, dynamic, and united than those that aren’t intentionally inclusive. We are deeply inspired by the growing number of leaders and everyday Americans uniting to make their communities welcoming ones for unaccompanied children. For some inspiring examples of communities stepping up, click here.
From changing the tenor of the conversation, to engaging residents with fears and misperceptions about local impact, to offering support to unaccompanied children, there is much that communities can and should do to step up and help.
In the coming weeks, Welcoming America will do our part to support our rapidly growing national network of local organizations and municipal governments, as well as any community wanting to become more welcoming during this important time.
Our goals are two-fold:
1) To lift up the voices of local leaders across the country who are taking a stand to welcome and humanely care for the children.
Much of the media coverage has been primarily negative and portrays local communities as overwhelmingly against humane and welcoming treatment of the children. This depiction runs counter to public opinion polling and the experience of our local partners.
Over the coming weeks, we will spotlight the welcoming responses taking place around the country. Although details are still being finalized, actions will include:
2) To ensure local governments and community organizations have the tools required to marshal welcoming efforts in their communities. Over the coming weeks, we will:
- Launch a webinar series with our partners to provide you with facts and background on unaccompanied children and local communities, as well as messaging and actions you can take to promote welcoming the children.
- Collect and share strategies and narratives that are working for community leaders and organizations across the country. Please share with us what you are doing or send us your ideas so we can help others learn from them too.
- Offering our many years of expertise in engaging receiving communities to groups and local governments wanting to promote greater dialogue and communication among local residents to ensure positive community outcomes.
There is an alternative to the divisive rhetoric we have all been hearing. In communities from Tampa to Denver to Syracuse, local leaders are expressing their support for unaccompanied children and emphasizing that the values of those they represent require children be cared for and welcomed. These statements, some of which are captured here, are a reminder that everyday Americans can change the course of history.
Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts and ideas and to let us know how we can support you in your efforts to create more welcoming communities for all.
July 30th, 2014
Join us for National Welcoming Week on September 13-21, 2014 to highlight the contributions of immigrants to American communities and to bring together immigrants and long-term residents in a spirit of unity! We invite you to attend or organize an event in your community that celebrates and embodies the welcoming spirit. Join the welcoming movement that is spreading across the country.
To participate, register your event or find a volunteer opportunity on the Welcoming Week website! If you register your event(s) by August 7th, you will receive 5 free National Welcoming Week t-shirts, a large banner, and 50 buttons. If you have questions about registering your event, please reference our guide.
Read the rest of this entry »
July 16th, 2014
Welcoming America and Partners Join White House and U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Uplift Immigrant Integration and Welcoming Innovations
In direct contrast to inaction on immigration reform dividing Washington, D.C., over 60 U.S. communities, large and small, all across the country are thriving by working together to embrace immigrants as part of the Welcoming America network. Welcoming America and its partners – including the prominent organizations National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE), and Americas Society/Council on The Americas (AS/COA) – have come to Washington this week to highlight these non-profit and municipal welcoming initiatives, lift up the leadership of local communities in immigrant integration in general, and highlight the role the federal government can play in supporting and coordinating local integration efforts.
Read the rest of this entry »