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Featured Responses from the Community

  • Nantucket, MA

    Nantucket is an island that connects with the world. From the time of the whalers, Nantucketers have gone out to other places and returned home changed by their experiences. Now the world is coming to us, to work, to study and to live. I pledge to work with others to make Nantucket a well-integrated and welcoming place for the immigrants who come here.
    Jun 15th 2012
  • House of Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries Board Member

    I have organized an event for Thursday night; it is called a Dialogue Dinner and it will be a potluck dinner with special time for introsuctions and stories and discussion questions. It is an interfaith dinner and members of our organization from many different faiths (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu UCC, UU, Buddhist, Humanist) will be in attendence. The dialogue questions will be focused on \\\"Welcoming\\\" in different faiths. This dialogue dinner will also discuss Pentacost from the Christian tradition and the feeling of the \\\"holy spirit.\\\" The community members present will not only be from different religions, but come from different countries as well (India, Sweden, Ireland, Equador, and Japan). We have organized these events before and that is why I am confident this one will be a success as well and will be a great opportunity for dialogue across culture, language, and religion. It is all about understanding and acceptance (much like the welcoming movement).
    Jun 11th 2012
  • Michigan has changed a lot over the last few decades. Even I have changed a lot as I meet many of our new residents; old attitudes I\\\'ve had are fading away, as my grandchildren bring people from other countries to our home and we really get to know them. Honestly, I was no so open to immigrants in the past, probably from media portrayals but most likely because we just didn\\\'t interact.
    The population of Michigan, especially in some areas, has really changed, and people sometimes are not accustomed to seeing their communities change so quickly maybe. Of course there are people who feel some need to be discriminatory or racist, but these people are the minority… most people are not hateful or unfriendly, but they just don’t know these newcomers, and they don’t understand each other. This change for some people is probably amplified or more visible, as immigrants are not always made up of Europeans, but of all the world’s cultures. People see new ways of dress, religion, languages, and change sometimes can make people afraid or make them want to disengage. Well, even though this is the wrong way to approach newcomers in the community, many people naturally react this way to change. If there were nothing such as Welcoming America or other initiatives to engage people, I think everything would continue in the same way, and we would have tons of divided little societies within America, but thankfully, there is a way to redirect people’s attitudes toward rethinking immigration and immigrants.
    So, with this background, it is easy to understand the other side of the fence on this issue, and I know there are many people out there who are still not comfortable about immigrants in our communities. However, you can see from my example that it\\\'s not too hard to change peoples\\\' minds, and all it might take is getting to know someone. Many of the immigrants or international students I meet from my grandchildren are extremely polite and respectful, and they love my cooking too! It\\\'s really interesting to see their curiosity as they explore everything new - they never even had things that are so normal to us, like a banana split! I think people will warm up to immigrants in this way, if they just get to know
    Sep 22nd 2011

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