White House Recognizes Welcoming America Champions of Change

Immigrants Want to Contribute; White House Recognizes Leaders Who are Helping their Communities Seize that Potential During National Welcoming Week

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As the debate in Washington on immigration moves forward, local community leaders across the country are recognizing that immigrants make us stronger and are working in their communities to create welcoming climates that harness the economic and social potential that newcomers bring.

This Thursday, September 19th, the White House will recognize ten individuals and their innovative efforts to lift up newcomer contributions and involve the whole community in supporting successful immigrant integration.  Ten Welcoming America Champions of Change will be honored in an event that will be streamed live starting at 1pm EST at www.whitehouse.gov/live.

The Welcoming America Champions of Change include local leaders from across the country whose cutting edge initiatives – from Nashville to Detroit – demonstrate the growing interest among local communities to ensure that everyone – including immigrants – have the opportunity to contribute and succeed.  As the country is reshaped by demographic change, these leaders offer a fresh vision for how communities can make the most of their diversity.

Says Welcoming America Executive Director David Lubell, “At a crucial moment in our history, the Welcoming America Champions of Change serve as a model for what we can achieve when we recognize the tremendous contributions that immigrants make to the social and economic fabric of American communities.  These champions are innovators who are building stronger communities by helping newcomers succeed, and inviting longer-term residents to contribute to and share in that success.“

Welcoming America Champions of Change are being recognized for their pioneering practices to advance immigrant inclusion in ways that involve U.S.-born residents and the community as a whole.

The Champions are being honored by the White House during National Welcoming Week, a nationwide event taking place September 15th-22nd with more than 100 events across the country that underscore the contributions of immigrants to local cultural and economic life.   From a proclamation signed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recognizing that immigrants are key to prosperity and innovation in the state to volunteer activities in Alabama that bring together foreign and U.S.-born North Carolinians to give back to the communities, to a gathering of hundreds in Nashville to nosh at diverse local restaurants, groups across the country are celebrating how immigrants enrich their communities.  Hosted by Welcoming America and its partners, more information is available at www.welcomingweek.org.

Meet the Champions of Change


Edited 2 - Kasar S. Abdullah


Edited 3 - Al Heggins


Edited 3 - Adolfo Hernandez


Edited 2 - Dan Rearick


Edited - Jan A. Reeves



Edited - Fatima Said


Edited - Christine Suave


Edited - Jocelyn Skolnik


Edited - Thomas Wahlrab


Edited - Brenda Zion