Executive Director, David Lubell selected as Ashoka Fellow.
Welcoming America is pleased to announce that David Lubell, founder and Executive Director, has been selected as an Ashoka Fellow. David will join a prestigious global fellowship of leading social entrepreneurs in more than sixty countries.
The Ashoka Fellowship recognizes David’s innovative vision in founding Welcoming America – that communities reach their full potential when they are welcoming toward newcomers. Ashoka has also recognized the value of Welcoming America’s efforts to change both individual perceptions and institutional practices.
A global organization, Ashoka supports those who share qualities traditionally associated with leading business entrepreneurs – vision, innovation, determination and long-term commitment – but are committed to systemic social change in their fields. Ashoka Fellows are recognized for their innovative solutions to some of society’s most pressing social problems. Since its founding in 1980, Ashoka has enabled more than 2,500 leading social entrepreneurs in over 60 countries. For more information on Ashoka, visit www.ashoka.org/ashoka/usa.
When he founded the organization in 2009, David recognized that while many groups existed to do the important work of helping immigrants adjust to life here in the United States, there was a need for a national movement focused on helping people who were born in this country understand and appreciate their new neighbors. “In the communities where Welcoming initiatives are underway, there are few strangers and more neighbors,” says David.
Video Credit: Ashoka, BeCause Foundation
Welcoming America takes to scale the groundbreaking Welcoming Tennessee project David helped launch in 2006 while he was the Executive Director of the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC). Captured in the 2011 PBS documentary, Welcome to Shelbyville, Welcoming Tennessee reaches out to everyday Tennesseans about the changes happening in their communities as a result of immigration. Welcoming Tennessee won the Migration Policy Institute’s E Pluribus Unum award for exceptional immigrant integration initiatives in 2009.
Since 2009, Welcoming America has grown as a national, grassroots collaborative and now works with a network of remarkable affiliates in 20 states. In addition, the organization has launched the Receiving Communities Initiative, an effort to encourage organizations that traditionally support immigrants to do more to reach out to long-time community members who may be fearful or ambivalent about the presence of newcomers.
Please join us in congratulating David, and in recognizing the many individuals and organizations who have helped Welcoming America achieve so much. The fellowship is not only a recognition of David’s success, but a recognition of all those who have helped Welcoming America and all those who continue to be part of our growing movement.