The world is on the move. Communities that recognize migration as an opportunity, and work to create welcoming communities that leverage the ideas and innovation that come from inclusion, will thrive while gaining an economic edge.
Welcoming America’s expertise in catalyzing and supporting inclusive communities is drawing new attention from a variety of international stakeholders. Several projects are underway and in development that create opportunities for international partners to exchange solutions that foster welcoming communities, globally.
In 2017, in partnership with the Bertelsmann Stiftung and Ashoka, Welcoming America has launched a new exploratory project to develop new partnerships, strengthen ties between local officials from the United States and Germany working on immigrant and refugee inclusion, and identify new opportunities to bring together receiving communities and newcomers within the context of Germany's work to integrate refugees into civic, economic, and cultural life.
The Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange is an opportunity to share promising approaches to welcoming and integrating refugees into German and U.S. communities.
Participants expand their networks and learn important new skills around issues such as community engagement, refugee outreach, positive communications, local policy development, evaluation, and many other areas critical for creating a welcoming community in which everyone can thrive.
The program focuses especially on promoting contact between residents and newcomers, communicating the economic and social benefits of a welcoming culture, and cultivating local leaders in the integration space. This includes helping people who may have concerns or fears develop deeper connections with their new neighbors.
Through in-person exchanges and online interactions, the program seeks to:
- Create and strengthen the welcoming infrastructures in key communities, including a productive dialogue between local residents and newcomers
- Collectively find innovative solutions to the challenges of unexpected influxes of migrants to German and U.S. communities
- Create a sustainable network of integration practitioners who can learn from and offer support to one another
- Support local welcoming innovation in a context of constrained federal support
The Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange is supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), as well as by the U.S. Department of State, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
In partnership with the Scanlon Foundation and Welcome to Australia, Welcoming America is bringing its Welcoming Cities model to Australia. Australian integration experts will adapt the program locally, creating a national network of meaningful partnerships between local government areas to establish welcoming cities for new and emerging communities. The project also will build bridges through communications, understanding, and respect within communities.