I’m excited that this is National Welcoming Week!
This week coincides with Citizenship Day and Constitution Day, traditionally commemorated on September 17. President Barack Obama issued a special proclamation this week welcoming newly naturalized citizens and acknowledging that “we are a proud Nation of Immigrants, home to a long line of aspiring citizens who contributed to their communities, founded businesses, or sacrificed their livelihoods so they could pass a brighter future on to their children.” Across the country, newcomers and native-born Americans are recognizing how immigrants benefit our communities. Almost 80 events, ranging from volunteering in community gardens to naturalization ceremonies, are planned in 22 states. More than 5,600 people expected to participate in these diverse and varied activities.
Local government officials will also be taking part in the events. I’m proud to note that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who has been a staunch proponent of welcoming migrants and refugees, has issued a proclamation in honor of this year’s Welcoming Week. In his proclamation, Governor Snyder recognizes how immigrants are a central component of building a strong economy. Other elected officials, like Mayor Gregory Ballard of Indianapolis, are standing in solidarity with newcomers. In fact, Indianapolis will be hosting 20 events across the city to focus on community inclusion and integration.
I’m thrilled that so many in our nation, from prominent elected officials to community leaders to volunteers, have reached out to migrants and New Americans in their community and recognized the contributions and sacrifices they make to grow and develop our country. Whether you’re in North Carolina, Tennessee, or Maryland, there’s bound to be an event nearby to celebrate Welcoming Week. Check out the list of events here to see what is happening in your area and support your neighbors and community.
Image credit: Lolaire