As Immigrant Welcoming Movement Grows, Communities Unite Across U.S. for National Welcoming Week
From Dayton to Detroit, a growing movement of cities and local communities are recognizing and promoting the contributions that immigrants bring, and developing comprehensive efforts to attract and welcome them. During 2012 alone, leaders in seven communities in six states have passed “welcoming resolutions,” formal proclamations by elected leaders that articulate an openness to immigrant contributions and are an alternative to more divisive policies. This week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) signed a proclamation recognizing Welcoming Week, and acknowledging a direct connection between the State’s economic future and the need to create welcoming communities. City leaders in New York and Chicago have said they want their cities to be the most “immigrant friendly” in the country and are being joined by a growing number of communities – as recently profiled in Governing magazine – who have determined that being welcoming to immigrants is essential to their continued economic vitality. These efforts signal that a movement towards welcoming is reaching communities across the U.S..
From September 15th to the 22nd, this chorus will grow, as immigrants and U.S. born individuals come together across the country to create stronger communities during National Welcoming Week. This week of events is being organized by Welcoming America- an Atlanta-based national non-profit collaborative that works to promote mutual respect and cooperation between foreign-born and U.S.-born Americans. Welcoming Week will bring together efforts around the country that recognize that our communities are strongest when everyone who lives in them feels welcome.
Welcoming Week also coincides with Citizenship Day and Constitution Week. In a proclamation this week, the President stated, “Across our country, Americans are working side-by-side with our Nation’s newest citizens to build strong, welcoming communities that embrace the talents and contributions of all their members.”
More than 50 events are planned in 20 states; some highlights include:
- Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has also signed a proclamation. In addition, a new campaign is launching that features ads with nine immigrants’ stories on 24 buses that travel the state reaching about 75 percent of the population.
- In North Carolina and Alabama, immigrants and native-born residents will come together in a spirit of unity to participate in volunteer service projects that will help bring food to the table for local residents.
- In Georgia, journalist Maria Hinojosa will join with Welcoming America and other local partners in Clarkston, GA – dubbed the “Ellis Island of the South” – to host a community conversation and pre-screening of the upcoming PBS special, America By the Numbers.
About National Welcoming Week
National Welcoming Week, September 15-22, aims to build meaningful connections and a spirit of unity between U.S. and foreign-born Americans. Across the country, immigrants and U.S. born individuals will come together to create stronger communities. They will achieve this goal through local events that build stronger relationships among neighbors through volunteerism, civic participation, and creative expression.
The activities held during this week will recognize that our communities are strongest when everyone who lives in them feels welcome. Events will be hosted by Welcoming America affiliates and partners, and are currently planned in 20 states. More than 3,500 immigrants and non-immigrants are expected to participate.
2012 is the inaugural year of National Welcoming Week, which is sponsored by Welcoming America, its affiliates and partners.
For more information, visit http://www.welcomingamerica.org/get-involved/welcomingweek2012/