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Diversity is essential for Boise’s prosperity and livability

We are pleased to announce a guest blog post from Boise Mayor David Bieter. Boise was one of the first cities to join our Welcoming Cities & Counties Initiative in 2013, and we are thrilled to share what Boise is doing to welcome all its residents.


Mayor David BieterBoise is a city built by immigrants. It’s one of our great strengths.

Like my grandfather Lorenzo Garmendia, who arrived in Boise from the Basque Country almost a century ago, the people who have come from around the world to live, work, and raise their families in this beautiful place, decade after decade, have done so with creativity and purpose. And that has helped to make our city, and all of Idaho, stronger and more prosperous.

Our diverse past is documented in Ethnic Landmarks, a book produced by Boise State University in 2007 that details the crucial contributions of 10 separate ethnic groups to the development of Boise.

Our diverse present is exemplified by our Neighbors United Network, a coalition of more than 20 government agencies, educational institutions, health care providers, community groups, and faith organizations that work to assist refugees in becoming economically integrated in our community. Over the past two decades, more than 11,000 refugees have resettled in Boise, adding tremendously to the richness of our ethnic and cultural landscape. Just last week, Neighbors United was praised by the White House Task Force on New Americans in a report, “Strengthening Communities by Welcoming All Residents”Read the rest of this entry »

Ideas that Innovate | WE Global Toolkit

The WE Global Network launches today IDEAS THAT INNOVATE, a collection of state and local public policies that further efforts to pursue immigrant economic development strategies.

Many WE Global Network local actors have been approached by municipal officials, state legislators, and other elected officials who acknowledge the research and economic case for immigrant economic development, but who lack specific public policy measures that they can consider to support our work.

As an increasing number of Rust Belt communities realize the enormous contributions that immigrants make to local economic growth and prosperity, new and innovative economic development initiatives are being launched to build more inclusive and welcoming economies. As rapid as these local programmatic initiatives are being launched, innovations also are being pursued by state and local public policymakers. This collection can assist immigrant economic development players and policymakers working together toward more welcoming and inclusive communities. The chapters provide resources to help you explore replicating these ideas in your community. Read the rest of this entry »

Announcing the WE Global Network

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Today, Welcoming AmericaGlobal Detroit, and more than a dozen economic development initiatives throughout the nation’s Rust Belt launched the Welcoming Economies Global Network (WE Global Network)The network is comprised of groups from 10 states across the Midwest working to tap into the economic development opportunities created by welcoming immigrants.

This launch comes on the heels of yesterday’s White House release of a report featuring the WE Global Network as one of its national best practices. Created by the White House Task Force on New Americans, the report affirms that immigrants and refugees contribute significantly to the continued economic prosperity of the U.S. and are critical to our country’s social and cultural fabric. The report is available at www.whitehouse.gov/new-americans.
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History in the Making

Today, the White House announced a historic step toward creating the nation’s first federal integration strategy – one that recognizes the importance of local efforts to build welcoming environments where immigrants and long-time residents join together to create stronger communities. Read the report and fact sheet.

The leadership of our partners across the country who are at the forefront of community-based initiatives helped shape and inspire this strategy and are recognized throughout the report as being among the nation’s most promising efforts.

The report to the President was presented today by the White House Task Force on New Americans, an inter-agency effort to develop a coordinated federal strategy to better integrate immigrants and refugees and build welcoming communities. The Task Force was created as part of the President’s immigration accountability executive actions. The full report and further information – including the Task Force’s plan to carry out its work – will be available soon at www.whitehouse.gov/new-americans.
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Announcing the Paul and Daisy Soros 2015 Fellows

Immigrants are contributors to our country – a fact that this is clearer than ever today as the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans announces its 2015 fellows. The fellowship provides remarkable first- and second-generation immigrants with the opportunity to achieve leadership in their chosen fields by providing funding to support their graduate studies. This year’s class represents a diverse cross sector of subjects, such as law, music, mathematics, writing, medicine, and business, as well as over 20 countries.  For all their diversity of interests and accomplishments, however, the fellows – and other New Americans like them – share a common characteristic: the potential to make significant contributions to U.S. society and culture. In celebration of this year’s class and the value of all immigrants, below are profiles of a few of the fellows and what they believe communities can do to become more welcoming.

Applications are now open for the 2016 class of the fellowship and are due November 1, 2015 at 11:50pm EST. To learn more, visit www.pdsoros.org. Read the rest of this entry »

Welcoming Cities & Counties Reaches 50 Members

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The immigrant welcoming movement has hit a major milestone: Welcoming America’s Welcoming Cities and Counties program has reached 50 members with the recent addition of the City of Decatur, Georgia. In under two years, the Welcoming Cities and Counties program has grown from 18 members to 50 members, more than doubling the number of municipalities dedicated to welcoming immigrants. “The pace of enrollment continues to pick up; 50 cities and counties is really just the tip of the iceberg. It won’t be too long before all localities will feel they are falling behind if they don’t move in this direction,” Lubell said. Read the rest of this entry »

We’re Hiring!

We are excited to share that our staff will be growing! Below are descriptions of five positions we are seeking to hire. We encourage you to apply to any positions that interest you and to share this announcement with your network.

You can see the full list of open positions on our jobs page.

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The World Economic Forum Names David Lubell a 2015 Young Global Leader

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We are excited to announce that Welcoming America founder and Executive Director David Lubell has been chosen as a 2015 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He has been selected from thousands of leaders for this prestigious program.

The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a community made up of the world’s most outstanding next-generation of leaders who have dedicated their time and talent to helping make the world a better place. Leaders hail from around the world and from all sectors of society including private, public, and civil society. Read the rest of this entry »

WA Updates: Administrative Relief Resources, Welcoming Refugees Communications Contest, and More

Administrative Relief Resources

We encourage cities preparing for administrative relief to check out our recently released Administrative Relief Toolkit and to attend our flash webinar series on the topic. Register here for the Administrative Relief: Actions for Local Governments webinar.

Flash Webinar Series on Administrative Relief

This four-part webinar series will explore how communities are coming together to prepare for and implement administrative relief. Join us to learn from experts in the field and share promising approaches.

Webinar – Administrative Relief: Actions for Local Government

Thurs., Feb. 12 @ 1-1:30pm EST This webinar will cover the implications of administrative relief for local governments and their partners and steps to facilitate local implementation, as well as a discussion on current efforts to make the most of DACA expansion. Register here.

Webinar – Nonprofits on the Frontlines of Administrative Relief

Thurs., Feb. 26 @ 1-1:30pm EST This webinar will cover how nonprofits are rising to the challenges and opportunities of administrative relief. Register here.

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Share your voice on federal immigrant welcome & inclusion

Share Your Vision

Two months ago, President Obama issued the memorandum Creating Welcoming Communities and Fully Integrating Immigrants and Refugees establishing a White House Task Force on New Americans, an inter-agency effort to develop a coordinated federal strategy to better integrate New Americans into communities and engage receiving communities. Now, the White House is seeking your ideas to help shape the focus of federal immigrant integration strategy.

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