Against backdrop of vitriol and polarization, nationwide events show neighbors working together, celebrating American values of inclusion

Against backdrop of vitriol and polarization, nationwide events show neighbors celebrating American values of inclusion

| September 12, 2017

6th annual celebration features more than 700 events in communities large and small, rural and urban, that are building inclusive, welcoming places for immigrants and refugees. 

Against a backdrop of divisive national rhetoric and policy making, hundreds of communities are showing they value a different path forward by participating in Welcoming Week Sept. 15-24. Events include community potlucks, soccer tournaments, naturalization ceremonies, and more from urban centers like Houston and Boston to rural towns like Springdale, Arkansas, and many others dotted across the Midwest.  

“These celebrations are part of a powerful, growing movement of neighbors of all backgrounds showing unity in a time when we need it most,” said David Lubell. “Communities recognize that they are more vibrant and prosperous when everyone feels welcomed and can fully participate. In events across the country and the world, new and longtime residents are building bridges and make their communities stronger.” 

These celebrations build on welcoming initiatives supported throughout the year by a rapidly growing number of local governments, civic organizations, and business groups. For example, over 160 local governments and nonprofits have now joined Welcoming America to advance immigrant-friendly policy. 

A sample of this year’s events include Ask a Muslim or Two in Bellevue, Washington; a Welcoming Michigan Statewide Convening;  a PRIDE Festival in Charlottesville, Virginia; and over 300 events hosted by Welcoming Week partner YMCA of the USA. 

“The Y is proud to participate in Welcoming America’s Welcoming Week and celebrate the many ways our newest neighbors enrich communities,” said Tom Valentine, Vice President International Group, YMCA of the USA. “Our organizations share the belief that communities are stronger and more cohesive when everyone feels welcome and people from all backgrounds work together for the greater good. Welcoming Week creates common ground and we encourage everyone to participate in one of the hundreds of events taking place nationwide.”

For more information about how you can participate, visit welcomingweek.org and use #welcomingweek. 

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