Today, Welcoming America released the first draft of a standard for a Welcoming community open for public comment through April 22.
This will be the first standard in the U.S. for a welcoming community, and the criteria are being defined by leading experts and practitioners in the field of immigrant inclusion as well as by you, the general public.
While a growing number of studies, such as the Cities Leading for Immigrant Integration report and the Chamber of Commerce Nashville study, link welcoming to economic benefits, we often hear questions from our members: What does it actually mean to be a Welcoming community? What are the steps we must take to get there?
We envision Welcoming Communities to be equitable and inclusive places, but our members need a path to get there. The Welcoming Standard is that path.
The Standard will outline the policies, programs, and practices that local governments need to have in place —such as supporting new American civic participation; making services accessible; and engaging all residents, including both receiving communities and new Americans.
Welcoming America will use the standard to help localities track and benchmark their efforts and ultimately, become certified. Smart local policy and business leaders across the country are already competing to gain an edge for their communities. More than just a label, being certified will help communities demonstrate that they are invested in the success of all residents and a friendly place for global business and talent.
We are asking a big question, and we need your help to get the answer right.
With the help of our advisory board, we have come up with a draft of what it takes to be a Welcoming Community, and we are asking for your feedback. Through Friday, April 22, we will be accepting comments, questions, edits, and emojis on this first draft. We want to hear from you.
To see our draft and share your thoughts on the standard, take this survey.
Photo Credit: Loris Guzzetta and League of KitchensGo Back