Afro Connect: Welcoming America

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Welcoming week takes place between Sept.10 and Sept. 19.

As part of welcoming week, organizations and communities bring neighbors together and affirm the value of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity. Led by Welcoming America, this initiative aims to welcome newcomers to the United States.

As part of its mission, Welcome America aims to bring prosperous communities together by ensuring everyone belongs, including immigrants. 

The framework outlined by Welcome America is:

Government Leadership: In welcoming places, local governments implement systems and programs, such as designating a unit and staff to coordinate immigrant inclusion, that strengthens community efforts and embeds inclusion within government agencies.

Equitable Access: Welcoming places work to ensure community services and opportunities are available to all residents, including newcomers. This includes improving access to healthcare, childcare, transportation, and more.

Civic Engagement: Welcoming communities actively ensure that residents, including newcomers, fully participate in civic life by increasing access to leadership and democratic spaces.

Connected Communities: Welcoming communities build connections between newcomers and long-term residents by strengthening relationships, communicating shared values, and promoting a welcoming culture through institutional communications.

Education: Welcoming communities strive for an educational system that ensures all students have the support they need to succeed in school and the education they need to succeed in the workforce.

Economic Development: Welcoming communities harness the full potential of all residents, including those from other countries who have the skills and assets to thrive, by developing economies that leverage all talents.

Safe Communities: Welcoming communities foster trust and build relationships between residents and law enforcement and safety agencies. This includes training public safety staff on working with diverse communities and more.

Building welcoming and inclusive communities will address many of the issues Black immigrants face – access to justice, and freedom from harassment. 

The events of 9/11 were tragic and led to a distrust of immigrants and Muslims. The isolation of some in our communities is a threat to our democracy and public safety.  With the current influx of Afghan nationals and other refugees, it is important we build strong communities by welcoming them into our neighborhoods. 

Get involved in welcome week at https://welcomingamerica.org

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