Certified Welcoming Communities

The Vision

We live in a world where people and business are on the move, bringing their talent and investments with them. As communities compete to harness this new source of wealth and vibrancy, research has shown that places are more welcoming set themselves apart from peers.

Smart local policy and business leaders across the country are already competing to gain an edge for their communities. Welcoming Community Certification will provide an exciting new avenue for promoting, guiding, and validating these efforts.

Setting The Standard

What makes a community a welcoming one? We know the end goal is to create an inclusive place where everyone can reach their greatest potential and contribute to a prosperous economy and flourishing culture.

But to get there, we know communities are looking for clear standards to guide their progress. That’s why we are working with the nation’s leading experts — practitioners, academics, business, and civic leaders — to create a common standard for cities, towns, and communities looking to deepen their work and set themselves apart.


We need your help to test the standard. Before we launch the Welcoming Communities Certification, we want to be sure we’ve got it right. This summer and fall we will be partnering with three to five cities, towns, or counties to test out the criteria for a welcoming community. Want to be one of the first Certified Welcoming Communities? Contact Meg Shoemaker Little, Director of Special Projects, for more information.     

Experts and Advisors

View the list of Advisory Board members and Content Experts.

Immigrants bring work skills, add to our neighborhoods, pay taxes, and buy goods in our region. And we need new residents to add to our own multicultural perspectives so our regional enterprises can compete effectively in the widening global market.

- St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay

Welcoming America has partnered with Felipe Arango and Nidhi Krishen of BSD Consulting on the technical development of the Welcoming Communities Certification standard.