There has never been a more important time to talk to our communities about what it means to be a truly welcoming place. Welcoming is about more than tolerance—it’s about developing a true respect and appreciation for our neighbors, creating policies and programs that support inclusion, and making sure that everyone—newcomer or longtime resident—feels they belong.
Welcoming is also about equity, and more specifically, racial equity—achieving the best and most fair results for everyone so that we can all prosper. To get there, we have to be proactive and engage in conversations with our community that are not always easy, but are crucially important.
As an organization concerned with creating more equitable and inclusive communities, and with addressing the root causes of what makes communities unwelcoming for immigrants and refugees in particular, Welcoming America has learned that leaders benefit from tools that help them to engage with what we call “receiving communities”—the places that are being reshaped by demographic change and immigration, and the diverse longtime residents who live there. This means getting at the thorny issues that prevent communities from moving forward, together.