Stand Together and Neighbors Together will help you build understanding in your community and counter fear of “others” by sharing promising practices of welcome for all. We hope that these toolkits strengthen your community as residents get to know their neighbors.
Demographic changes are happening across the United States, and many Americans don’t know who their new neighbors are or why they are here. Without genuine personal interactions, it’s too easy for assumptions and misunderstanding to take hold.
Americans as a whole are generally unfamiliar with Islam. This means that instead of having an authentic and shared experience of someone, their impressions are based on images and sentiments they see in the media. It’s also possible they know families who are Muslim, but don’t realize it because they have been taught to expect Muslims to look and act in certain ways that aren’t necessarily true.
This is especially important, because in many Americans’ minds right now, the words “refugee” and “Muslim” are deeply linked even though refugees come from every religion and background, and there have been many Muslim families in America for generations.
There is also a very good chance that even someone who is well meaning and generally welcomes new Americans, but lacks exposure and experience with Muslim Americans, may lean toward seeing them as “other” rather than valued community members. This is a chance to give people the opportunity to do better.
In America, our individual identities are complex and multilayered. The more we can model this through stories that build connections, the more that people can begin to develop a new and deeper relationship to people from which they may otherwise feel disconnected.
The more authentic we are and the more compassionate we are — even toward those who question welcoming efforts — the more likely we can help people who may be unsure to grow and become part of their new communities.
We hope that our new resources are a source of guidance for you and your community.
Stand Together: Messaging to Support Refugees in Challenging Times
Demographic changes are happening in communities across the United States, and many Americans are unsure about their new neighbors. Learn constructive ways to push back on negative stereotypes and reaffirm your community's shared values.
Neighbors Together: Promising Practices to Strengthen Relations with Refugees & Muslims
This companion toolkit lifts up promising practices happening across the country to counter negative rhetoric, bullying, and discrimination against Muslim Americans and refugees. These bright spots — communities actively welcoming through simple gestures, statements of alliance, and people stepping out of comfort zones to stand with their neighbors — offer hope for all.Go Back