The movement grows: check out Shelbyville Multimedia, stay tuned for Friends of Welcoming! | Welcoming America

The movement grows: check out Shelbyville Multimedia, stay tuned for Friends of Welcoming!

Welcoming America | March 17, 2011

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"15","attributes":{"class":"media-image alignleft size-medium wp-image-816","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"210","height":"75","title":"ShelbyvilleMultimedia","alt":""}}]] Our important partner Active Voice recently launched a new character-driven website,, that does an amazing job of transporting the viewer into the world of Welcome to Shelbyville. As you may know by now, Welcome to Shelbyville features the efforts of Welcoming Tennessee (a project of TIRRC), the model for all subsequent Welcoming America initiatives, as its local partners in Shelbyville, TN struggle to build a welcoming community. This documentary will be airing nationally on PBS via Independent Lens on May 24 at 10:00pm, so save the date! We strongly encourage you to explore Shelbyville Multimedia, and to participate in the opportunities for action it provides (see below for more details). Welcoming Tennessee and Welcoming America are featured in several parts of the Shelbyville Multimedia site, and our soon-to-be-launched web portal "Friends of Welcoming" - launching in May - is also featured.

Here's more on Shelbyville Multimedia: Not long ago, talk about "newcomers" rarely traveled beyond the barbershop, the kitchen table, or sometimes, the local radio station. But now, thanks to collaborations between civic-minded residents and tech-savvy media makers, these questions can be shared with people in changing communities everywhere.  Who's living in my community and why are they here? Why has immigration been such a steady force in this country? What does this mean now, in economically shaky times?   Inspired by the candid people featured in the 2010 documentary Welcome to Shelbyville (directed and produced by Kim A. Snyder and executive produced by BeCause Foundation in association with Active Voice), Shelbyville Multimedia shines a light on the challenges and opportunities of our increasingly global communities through a range of story-based resources, such as:
  • An interactive website where visitors can meet residents like Ms. Luci, a first generation American and a much-loved ESL teacher; Pastor Stephen, a local Presbyterian minister; Miss Marilyn, whose memories of the civil rights movement guide her to this day, and Hawo, a former nurse from Somalia who now also calls Shelbyville her home.
  • "Welcoming Stories" a series of short web-based memoirs - created in association with First Person American - from people who remember a special person who helped them as when they first came to America. Contributors can submit their own videos, photos or written Welcoming Stories on Tumblr or via Facebook.
  • Webisodes that capture the stories of these neighbors in their own words, and the intimate, sometimes awkward, but captivating steps of getting to know each other.
Here's more on Friends of Welcoming: “Friends of Welcoming” will be an online platform, created by Welcoming America, for individuals and groups who are interested in taking their interest in welcoming newcomers to the next level. Individuals who register online will be given access to online welcoming tools, as well as objectives. As they complete objectives, they will earn “welcoming points” which will make them eligible for numerous prizes- including cash prizes to be used to build a full-scale Welcoming initiative, or to support a local immigrant and/or refugee serving organization. This tool will help us expand the Welcoming movement exponentially! Friends of Welcoming is a sister site of Shelbyville Multimedia, and activities performed via Shelbyville Multimedia will be eligible for Friends of Welcoming points starting in May. Also Coming Soon: The Interactive Video Module, "All American Welcome": Also, stay tuned for “All American Welcome,” a 20-30 minute DVD being produced by Active Voice that will hone in on select scenes from Welcome to Shelbyville that exemplify the Welcoming America model, while providing additional context on how it can work for a range of communities and audiences. In summary, we urge you to visit Shelbyville Multimedia today, stay tuned for the launch of Friends of Welcoming in early May, stay tuned for the release of "All American Welcome" shortly after that, and save the date for the May 24th airing of Welcome to Shelbyville! Go Back