Welcoming in a New Era

Welcoming in a New Era

David Lubell | January 19, 2017

Photo by Rick Obst licensed under CC BY 2.0

During this time of great uncertainty and fear for so many, all of us at Welcoming America stand shoulder to shoulder with you in our belief that welcoming must be an essential part of our collective future. Making sure all Americans – including immigrants – are able to participate fully in our communities will lead to greater prosperity for everyone; and it is also simply the right thing to do. Although the national winds are unfortunately shifting away from welcoming immigrants and refugees for the moment, on the local level, the conditions that have led our movement to grow at a remarkable rate over the last several years have not changed. Cities and towns from the industrial Midwest, to the Mountain west, and beyond, recognize the countless benefits that immigrants and refugees bring to their communities, and also acknowledge their moral responsibility to stand up for their newest neighbors in a time of scapegoating, fear, and increased incidents of hate.  

We at Welcoming America pledge to do more than ever to support our valued member communities, and immigrants and refugees experiencing fear and intimidation that may soon be targeted by new, draconian federal policies. We also continue our commitment to support long-time residents of communities who are experiencing rapid demographic change as a result of local immigrant growth. Change is best managed collectively, and we want to make sure all voices are heard when communities come together to envision a brighter, more inclusive future.  

We know there are going to be big challenges ahead. Let’s face them together. Here are some of the ways we will advance welcoming in this new era: 

  • Support communities in the Welcoming America network and beyond to promote the establishment of more inclusive community climates, as well as policies and programs that ensure everyone can reach their full potential. 
  • Help community efforts to defend the rights and well-being of immigrants and refugees, as well as to support communities working to counter hateful rhetoric and actions.
  • Step up efforts to lift up the contributions new Americans make to towns and cities across the country.
  • Increase support to communities experiencing rapid growth in immigrant and refugee populations to build understanding with long-time residents and find common cause. Welcoming America will be there to help these places turn fear into understanding and to build connected communities that work for everyone.

Welcoming America is here for you: Please reach out anytime if your community is facing a challenge or threat to welcoming, if we can help you deepen your efforts, if you have an innovative practice that may inspire others, or if you have a story of people coming together to find common ground during these extraordinary times. We want to lift up and support your efforts.

Let’s work together to make America the welcoming place we know it can be. Let’s roll up our sleeves and all become champions of welcoming. Now is the time.

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