We Welcome Refugees - This is Who We Are | Welcoming America

We Welcome Refugees - This is Who We Are

Welcoming America | November 18, 2015

This past week has been one of great loss, and all of us at Welcoming America are deeply saddened by the tragic events in Paris, Beirut, Nigeria, and other parts of the world. It is particularly at times of tragedy and fear – when our values and resolve are most tested – that we must redouble our efforts to live up to our ideals, including serving as a beacon of hope to the persecuted. We must demonstrate our welcoming character because This is Who We Are.
Families from Syria who are seeking a better life embody American values that have guided our country since its founding -- packing up everything and moving to a new place takes courage and resilience. They’ve defied all odds to arrive in a safe place, and we have the opportunity to reaffirm our values by responding with compassion. Moreover, communities are stronger when they are welcoming.
We are deeply heartened by declarations of welcoming toward Syrian refugees coming from all corners of the country, from community members to religious leaders to mayors and governors. These voices, largely emanating from local communities, have unfortunately not been fully heard by many in this country. At Welcoming America we will be working to elevate the voices of the compassionate majority, reminding America and the world that this is who we are 
To that effect, we have created a This is Who We Are page where we are compiling a list of statements and actions coming from communities is support of Syrian refugees, and we invite you to help us grow this list. If you have an inspiring quote or story of welcome, please share it with us.

Here are some additional actions you can take in the time ahead:

Throughout our country’s history we have welcomed those seeking refuge regardless of where they were born or what religion they practice, and we have thrived because of it. We must continue to create inclusive communities where everyone has the opportunity to prosper and is treated with dignity and respect.

When we look back 10 or 20 years from now, we will remember that we weren’t hindered by our fears. Instead, we invited diverse new neighbors to join us in building a stronger community, and we all became better for it. This is Who We Are.

Take Action

  • Share with us inspiring quotes and welcoming stories you have seen or had.
  • Speak to civic and political leaders in your community to ask them to support Syrian refugees, and to raise their voices for Welcoming. Here are some messages that can be helpful during your conversations.
  • Tweet your support and stories of welcome by using the hashtag #RefugeesWelcome.
  • Work with a local government or nonprofit in our network to welcome Syrian refugees and lift up these important messages. View the list of the 80-plus communities in our welcoming network.
  • If your community is not part of our Welcoming network, learn how to change that.


Photo Credit: "Welcome refugees balloons - Refugee vigil Broadmeadows" by Takver is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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