wwWelcoming America’s 4th Annual Welcoming Week was the largest yet, with over 245 events across the country that brought together new Americans and long-term residents in the spirit of unity.  These events, ranging from ethnic food tastings and friendly soccer tournaments to educational seminars and cultural festivals all have welcoming at their core.  They are rooted in the fact that communities are more vibrant and prosperous when everyone feels welcomed, and they celebrate the diversity that runs deep in our cities and states.

This Welcoming Week signaled the dynamism of the welcoming movement in the Rust Belt region.  The WE Global Network 10-state region – IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, NY, OH, PA, and WI – hosted nearly 100 of the 245 Welcoming Week events.  Also announced during Welcoming Week was The White House’s Building Welcoming Communities Campaign, of which 16 – or 40 percent – of the 40 early acceptor communities signed on to the campaign are located in our same 10-state region.  The Rust Belt region is emerging as a pioneer of the welcoming movement, leading the country with innovative inclusion and integration initiatives and a surge amongst residents to foster immigrant-friendly communities.

Check out a snapshot of some of the WE Global Network member Welcoming Week events, and follow the links to learn more.


The Immigrant Welcome Center hosted and co-hosted 18 Welcoming Week events, and encouraged residents to try one of Indy’s thousands of ethnic restaurants and shops. Events included:

  • An ALL-IN Block Party to celebrate Indianapolis as a welcoming and diverse city with music, food, prizes and more
  • Multiple “Lunch and Learn” events to celebrate the cultures and foods of other countries while learning more about them, including Turkey, Colombia, Burma, Eritrea, Russia, and Iraq.
  • Naturalization Ceremony to welcome 97 new US Citizens from 40 countries.
  • Welcoming Week Service Project to build an inspiring space at a local urban garden; participants painted bricks with words and images that focus on the theme of community.

For a complete list of the Immigrant Welcome Center’s events click here.

  • All In Block Party

  • Lunch and Learn: Iraq

  • All In Block Party

  • Service Project


Global Detroit hosted its 2nd Annual Welcoming Games in southwest Detroit, which brought together 130 Michiganders for a friendly futsal tournament and Caribbean food. Global Detroit was pleased to have teams from all over southeast Michigan – the Ford Hispanic Network, Arab American News, Wayne County Community College District, members of the Detroit Gambian Community, Futsal Factory, and more.

  • Global Detroit Welcoming Games

  • Global Detroit Welcoming Games

  • Global Detroit Welcoming Games

  • Global Detroit Welcoming Games


OneMacomb celebrated Welcoming Week with a Naturalization Ceremony, an employee Lunch ‘n Learn on Chaldean Culture, and a welcoming-themed storytelling event at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit with The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers in partnership with Welcoming Michigan. Read OneMacomb’s press release, local coverage of the Naturalization Ceremony, the Board of Commissioners Welcoming Week Proclamation, and a Make Macomb Your Home flier here.  and a cross promotion of National Welcoming Week and Make Macomb Your Home that our marketing department created.

  • Naturalization Ceremony

  • Lunch ‘n Learn

  • The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers


During Welcoming Week, thanks to Welcoming Michigan’s good work, Michigan grew its Welcoming Cities and Counties as Macomb County and City of Detroit joined the City of Sterling Heights, City of Hamtramck, City of East Lansing, Clinton Township, West Bloomfield Township, Meridian Township, Kalamazoo County, and City of Grand Rapids with a formal declaration of welcoming. Michigan leads Welcoming America’s Welcoming Cities & Counties with 10 Welcoming Cities & Counties – more than any other state! Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s proclaimed Welcoming Week in Michigan, and Welcoming Michigan – Michigan Immigrant Rights Center hosted a statewide Convening gathering municipal and community leaders from across Michigan to share their efforts to embrace and include immigrant and refugee residents. Welcoming Michigan a;also hosted Immigration 101 for attendees to learn more about immigration law & the rights of immigrants.

  • Welcoming Michigan Statewide Convening


Many St. Louisans, including Mayor Francis Slay, spread the message of welcoming through promoting the region as “ready and willing” to receive Syrian refugees.  St. Louis has received 29 families in the last few months, and 20 more are on the way. Mayor Slay said the city will take as many as the federal government will send.

The St. Louis Mosaic Project celebrated Welcoming Week by highlighting twenty events, ranging from an International Soccer Tournament to Brazilian, Hispanic, Polish and Scottish Festivals, to recognize immigrant contributions to St. Louis.  St. Louis Mosaic Project hosted the following events :

  • St. Louis Mosaic Project, International Institute of St. Louis, and FOCUS St. Louis hosted the Inaugural International Mosaic FOCUS Dinner, brought together 50 individuals for “Shared Tables, Shared Conversations” in hopes of building multi-cultural relationships.
  • The St. Louis Mosaic Project invited international students to Build A Bear Workshop for a tour of their Global Headquarters! Attendees had the opportunity to hear from some of the employees at Build A Bear who are foreign born.
  • Naturalization Ceremony

  • Festival of Nations

  • St. Louis International Cup

  • Build-a-Bear Headquarters Workshop for International Students

  • Festival of Nations

  • Diversity Fair


The International Institute of Buffalo celebrated Welcoming Week with its announcement of the Welcoming Buffalo Program. Buffalo joins 59 other communities in Welcoming America’s Welcoming Cities & Counties Program,  a neighborhood-based initiative promoting connection and exchange between native born Buffalonians and newly arrived refugees and immigrants. Welcoming Buffalo, the first formal welcoming program in New York State, will facilitate greater understanding and integration with a series of meetings in neighborhoods, designed to share and discuss culture and values, while working together to resolve issues that affect all communities.

  • Welcome-TLC Citizenship Information Session


Throughout the week, Welcome Dayton shared the stories of immigrants and welcomers from the receiving community in Dayton. See what Welcome Dayton volunteers, staff and Dayton immigrants are saying about working together for a more inclusive community here, or search for the hashtag #WelcomeDayton on Facebook.

  • Welcome Dayton launched its Ambassador Program, a network of individuals interested in learning about the many cultures that exist in Dayton, sharing what they learn with others, and modeling behavior that is welcoming and inclusive to newcomers to their community.
  • The Dayton World Soccer Games returned for its fourth year and brought together 23 teams representing 15 countries to compete in the world’s most popular sport in the name of diversity and inclusion.

Our program coordinator Melissa brings a special message from #DWSG2015. #WelcomeDayton

Posted by Welcome Dayton on Saturday, September 12, 2015


The Global Village Festival of Greater Akron is an event to celebrate international and ethnic diversity and highlight the dynamics of the cultural diversity in the modern urban environment, and is designed to enable distinctive cultural expressions – including performances, exhibitions, international cuisine, and much more.

  • Global Village Festival of Akron

  • Global Village Festival of Akron

  • Global Village Festival of Akron


The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians hosted a Welcoming Week event with national partner IMPRINT and local media partner Al DIA News.  The symposium, Strengthening the Workforce through Immigrant Professional Integration, revealed the results of a trailblazing new 4,000-person survey that tracked the career paths of workers who were educated abroad to determine which factors lead to their success or limit their progress.


Welcoming Pittsburgh distributed a press release and special edition newsletter announcing Pittsburgh’s four Welcoming Week events:

  • Clemente Day at PNC Park – Mayor Peduto recognized one of Pittsburgh’s most beloved sports figures in honor of Roberto Clemente Day, Hispanic Heritage Month, and National Welcoming Week.
  • Citizenship Day – Citizenship Day was a rousing success, with over 50 people connected to naturalization and community resources — 25 individuals received pro-bono legal consult, our standing-room-only naturalization interview prep session ran an extra half hour to accommodate for the many excellent questions, and we received comments from numerous participants on helpful resources found at the service provider fair.

  • Spanish-Language National Welcoming Week Tour  – City of Asylum, in partnership with Welcoming Pittsburgh, welcomed one and all for a Spanish-language Welcoming Week tour. Participants learned about City of Asylum’s vital role as a sanctuary for writers living in exile, their work bringing global awareness to Pittsburgh, and had an insider’s look at the space City of Asylum has built to celebrate culture and the arts in the Northside.

  • National Welcoming Week in the City-County Lobby – Welcoming Pittsburgh encouraged all residents to add their voices to the welcoming conversation by posting on their Welcoming Week board in the lobby of the City-County building and on social media. Pittsburghers used the hashtags #AmericaWelcomes and #WelcomingWeek to show support for welcoming refugees and immigrants to the city.
  • Clemente Day at PNC Park

  • Welcoming Week in the City-County Lobby

  • Spanish-Language National Welcoming Week Tour

  • Citizenship Day