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Welcoming takes root in the south: How one Florida community fosters safety and language access

Words and intentions aren’t enough to create a community where everyone belongs. Residents of Gainesville and Alachua County, Florida know how much effort it takes to make their home a more welcoming place to live. “To be a welcoming community means that you have policies in place which become everyday behaviors and actions, in turn,…

Equitable Access, Government and Community Leadership, Safe Communities, Stories of Impact
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Organizing 101: How nonprofit advocates can bring local government along for the welcoming journey

If you’ve ever wondered why key leaders aren’t at the table in your community’s welcoming coalition, the answer may be that your table isn’t big enough. With over 15 years of working with local governments and nonprofits, Welcoming America has seen many local nonprofits lead a community’s welcoming efforts. Many of these advocates have built…

Government and Community Leadership, Welcoming Standard
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From Afghanistan to Virginia: How Richmond welcomes refugees

In 2016, a group of 30 Afghan women arrived at their local DMV office in Richmond, Virginia to take the learner’s permit test. When they arrived from Afghanistan a few years before, they didn’t know how to get a driver’s license and could not find information in their language. Kate Ayers, executive director of ReEstablish…

Education, Equitable Access, Stories of Impact
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Celebrating inclusive values: A look back at Welcoming Week 2023

For 11 years, communities around the world have been at the forefront of Welcoming Week to showcase their common values of belonging, equity, and inclusion as they strive to be more welcoming places for all. This year was no different. From September 8-17, communities celebrated their diversity, advanced inclusion, and brought people of different backgrounds…

Welcoming Week
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Redefining the refugee resettlement experience in North Carolina

In 2022, for the first time in history, over 100 million people were forcibly displaced. Ongoing global conflicts are bringing more individuals and families to the United States, making it critical to support organizations that are innovating and mobilizing their resources to welcome refugees. Last year, Welcoming America announced the recipients of $40,000 grants as…

Refugees, Stories of Impact
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Lessons and opportunities to build belonging: A look at our 2022 Fund to Foster Belonging grantees

Connection is the antidote to social division. Communities that intentionally bring people from all walks of life together reap the benefits of being a more welcoming place for all. Intergroup bridging is one way to foster connections among groups from different migration backgrounds. Bridging activities bring people together, and research shows that building bridges between…

Connected Communities, Equitable Access, Refugees
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How to get started with Welcoming Week 

Welcoming Week is an opportunity for communities to come together and celebrate the values that make places more welcoming and inclusive for all who live there. In the months leading up to Welcoming Week, it’s time to start brainstorming ways to get involved. Whether you plan a local event or share your thoughts on social…

Welcoming Week
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World Refugee Day: Building communities where refugees belong

Each June, we recognize the importance of welcoming refugees into our communities. June 20 is internationally designated by the United Nations as World Refugee Day. The day celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to find safety and belonging in a new place. This year, World…

Refugees
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Immigrant Heritage Month: Celebrating our stories of immigration

Each year, Immigrant Heritage Month celebrates the contributions immigrants and their descendants have made to the history and culture of the United States. In this blog, Welcoming America staff share their immigration and/or immigrant heritage experiences.  What is your experience with immigration? I am an immigrant myself. My parents moved my siblings and I to…

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