Welcoming Week 2023 kicks off with 500 events globally, Little Amal’s U.S. tour
The annual campaign Welcoming Week, led by U.S.-based nonprofit Welcoming America kicks off this September 8-17 through more than 500 events happening worldwide, including 68 events taking place in Australia, Canada, Mexico, and New Zealand, as well as in partnership with 16 global organizations. Events aim to celebrate diversity, advance inclusion, and nurture a deeper sense of belonging for all, including immigrants.
In the U.S., Welcoming Week also coincides with the launch of the Amal Walks Across America tour on September 7 featuring Little Amal, a 12-foot puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl. As an official partner of the tour, Welcoming America and its Welcoming Network of organizations are helping to amplify and celebrate Little Amal’s visits across the country during Welcoming Week and beyond.
Rachel Perić, executive director of Welcoming America, said: “Welcoming Week is a time for communities to bring neighbors of different backgrounds together around shared values. Whether we’ve recently arrived or been here for generations, we all want to belong in the places we call home; together, we can make sure more of us do. At a time when people with migrant backgrounds are being vilified, Welcoming America is proud to support the growing international movement of welcoming communities who are working during Welcoming Week and beyond to make sure that all of us can thrive and belong in the places we call home, no matter where we come from.”
Around the world, Welcoming Week event hosts will gather community members around a shared love of the arts, sports, food, and culture. Many communities will also provide direct support to people applying for citizenship, those wanting to learn more about their legal rights and resources, and people looking to better support newcomers in their communities. Each event is unique to the community it’s being hosted in, including:
- a classical music concert in Queens, New York, U.S.;
- a panel discussion about immigration and its impact on business in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada;
- a Chinese Cultural Exhibition in Beaverton, Oregon, U.S.;
- a community dinner in Kilburn, South Australia, Australia;
- and a clinic offering free assistance in applying for U.S. citizenship in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Visit welcomingweek.org/events and use the site’s search tool to find local Welcoming Week events.
Official partners of Welcoming Week include Citizenshipworks, Civity, Connecting Communities in the Americas, I Am an Immigrant, I’m Your Neighbor, Kennesaw State University’s Museum of History and Holocaust Education, Listen First Project, National Association of System Heads Refugee Resettlement Initiative, Refugee Congress, Refugee Welcome Collective, Re-Imagining Migration, Sin Fronteras IAP, Trust for Public Land, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), USAHello, and Welcome.US.
Little Amal’s tour across the U.S. begins September 7 in Boston with the event “Amal From Afar” in which leading cultural institutions will stage their own events inviting communities of every kind to explore the power of a welcome to a newcomer. Individuals can get involved in Little Amal’s journey by attending one of her 20+ events during Welcoming Week and supporting The Amal Fund which together with Choose Love is raising funds for refugee children as Amal walks across the country.
Amir Nizar Zuabi, artistic director of The Walk Productions, said: “Amal stands for unity and hope, and we couldn’t impart this message without the hundreds of partners, large and small, coming together to support us as we embark on this journey. Each artist, organization and institution has a story to tell about their unique slice of American history and culture, and is inviting Amal and all Americans to learn about what makes this country’s heart beat.”
About Welcoming Week
Welcoming Week is an annual campaign that celebrates the work in communities to become welcoming places for all, including immigrants. Launched in 2012 by Welcoming America and its members, Welcoming Week provides individuals and organizations the opportunity to showcase their values through events and initiatives that foster connections and collaboration between immigrants and non-immigrants, as well as belonging for all. Learn more at welcomingweek.org.
About Welcoming America
Welcoming America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that leads a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by ensuring everyone belongs. We believe that all people, including immigrants, are valued contributors and vital to the success of our communities and shared future. Learn more at welcomingamerica.org.
Contact: Lola Pak, [email protected]