About Welcoming Week
Welcoming America is a nonprofit organization which focuses on cultivating an inclusive environment, especially for people who are immigrants. From certified welcoming programs for local governments to annual conferences for sharing successful immigrant stories, Welcoming America is dedicated to providing resources to foster encouraging and empowering communities for immigrants. During the pandemic, Welcoming America curated a list of Covid-19 resources from informative blog posts to the Resilient Rapid Response Initiative.
“Welcoming Week,” a core initiative of Welcoming America, will take place September 10-19, 2021, and is a time to connect with diverse communities and reflect on the importance of inclusivity. In the past, they have overseen thousands of events across several states in an effort to create a sense of belonging for all. This year, Welcoming Week is working together with many different organizations to host hundreds of events throughout the country. They are kicking off with Peter Banifaz, an Iranian American comedian, as the emcee for their first virtual event. Several groups have already set their plans in motion for 2021 Welcoming Week. ADL shares Welcoming America’s important mission and is proud to participate in Welcoming Week.
Welcoming Week is working to ensure that no one feels excluded because #BelongingBeginsWithUs. Learn more about Welcoming Week.
What Does it Mean to Be Welcoming?
Most people have experienced being “new” in a place or space that is unfamiliar. Whether that’s being new to a class or school, new in a neighborhood or community, a new member of a club or class, new at a job, new to certain digital spaces, or new to a country—being new is part of the human condition. Feeling welcomed, and welcoming others in those new places, can have multiple layers and go beyond just meeting and greeting others.
Welcoming others can mean going the extra mile to make sure someone doesn’t feel excluded, ignored or marginalized. It means helping all, especially those who are new or in unfamiliar places, feel seen, visible, and treated with respect. Welcoming should also include inviting people to bring the different aspects of their identity to that place, and letting them know they will be included, understood and accepted for who they are. It also means that we acknowledge differences among people and work towards equity so that everyone can feel part of that community, have a sense of belonging, and know that they will be treated equitably.
As we celebrate Welcoming Week, let’s remember that #BelongingBeginsWithUs. Let’s be mindful of how we can be welcoming to others who find themselves new to our communities and to our lives. Let’s be thoughtful about how to connect with those who are new. Let’s reflect on how we can help them feel seen, understood and an integral part of those places and spaces.
See ADL Education's relevant resources below.