We are excited to announce that Welcoming America is one of eleven organizations worldwide to receive the 2014 Intercultural Innovation Award, granted by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and BMW Group!
Welcoming America is pleased to announce a series of three webinars on what local communities can do to help children fleeing violence, highlighting how:
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:
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.
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 »
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.
During the week of September 13th, 2014, Welcoming America and its partners across the country will host National Welcoming Week, a nationwide event that will bring together immigrants and U.S.-born community members in a spirit of unity through service projects and other events across the country.
Welcoming Week is just around the corner – we encourage you to start planning your event soon! If you’d like to receive more information on National Welcoming Week – whether your interest is as an event host, event attendee, or general supporter – please sign up for our email updates here. If you plan to host an event, please complete this form. Also, feel free to start publicizing National Welcoming Week by sharing our postcard with your network!
Can’t host or join an event? You can help support our event now through a gift – click the button below to donate!
Throughout the month of June, Welcome.us, a new non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating a United States that is fueled by immigrants from around the world, will be celebrating the first-ever Immigrant Heritage Month. The goal of the month – which will bring together a dynamic coalition of individuals and organizations from Congressmen to celebrities – is to encourage every American to tell the story of how they first felt welcomed to the American experience.
Since 2009, Welcoming America has brought together these civic leaders and everyday welcoming heroes through a vibrant network that reaches from coast to coast. From mayors in Atlanta and Pittsburgh, who recently announced new Welcoming initiatives, to long standing efforts in states as diverse as Michigan, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Rhode Island, the Welcoming America movement reflects the diversity of American communities, rural and urban, that are already extending a welcome to their newest neighbors. Read the rest of this entry »
2014 Welcoming America National Conference
Last month, Welcoming leaders from across the country convened in Atlanta for our 2014 national conference. For highlights, read our blog post, and check out our video to see why our great partners do the work they do. Thank you all who joined us for this inspiring event!
Cities Make Strides to Advancing Welcoming
Three new cities – Denver, Colorado; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Central Falls, Rhode Island – have signed on to our Welcoming Cities and Counties initiative. Central Fall’s addition was marked by the release of a report from Welcoming Rhode Island on immigrant contributions to the state.
Welcoming Atlanta has also taken a significant step towards welcoming with the creation of a working group, which will make recommendations to Mayor Reed on steps to take to become more inclusive towards immigrants. Read the rest of this entry »
By Amanda Cooper, Lightbox Collaborative
American’s have a lot of sympathy for the refugee experience. Just the word “refugee” conjures images in our head of crowded camps and sad eyed children. But are those images accurate? And more importantly, are they helpful?
The truth is, the refugee experience can be harrowing. Just the nature of refugee status means that you are leaving a country because you are in danger. Resettling families have a great opportunity to start a new life, but we all know that starting a new life is very difficult, particularly if you are still dealing with the effects of trauma. So, yes, refugees deserve our empathy and compassion. Read the rest of this entry »
Forty leaders convened at the Welcoming America Leaders Conference in Atlanta, GA from April 28-30, 2014. Representing non-profits and municipal governments across the country, these leaders have been working tirelessly to help their communities welcome immigrants and integrate them into civic life. They gathered in Atlanta to reconnect with one other, learn new skills, and get reinvigorated and re-energized for the work ahead. Read the rest of this entry »