Local government partnership, United States
Expanding Welcoming Week Across the Globe and Fostering Belonging for All - No Matter Where We Come From
Welcoming America commits to deliver its annual Welcoming Week campaign and to expand that campaign in 2024. Welcoming Week provides institutions and individuals the opportunity to showcase their values through initiatives that foster connections between migrants and non-migrants, as well as belonging for all. Started in 2020, Welcoming America supports the expansion of Welcoming Week globally and provides a toolkit, technical assistance, peer learning, campaign assets, and/or financial resources to additional implementing organizations – both national governments and civil society – to launch Welcoming Week in their countries.
Local and regional governments, NGOs, migrant and refugee-led organizations, local businesses and others participate by hosting events (670 in 2023) and engaging on social and traditional media.
Principal objectives include:
- Bring neighbors together - migrant, refugee, and non-migrant - to build connections.
- Celebrate ongoing local multi-sector inclusionary efforts.
- Affirm the importance of “welcoming communities” in achieving collective prosperity.
- Engage new stakeholders through accessible events that lead to longer-term commitments.
- Affect the public narrative on migration to be more positive and hopeful.
Welcoming America commits to:
- Increase Welcoming Week events in the following years.
- Activate a new Welcoming Week campaign in an additional country in 2024.
By continuing to partner with new, additional national governments, civil society organizations, migrant and refugee-led organizations, local businesses, and other partners, Welcoming America expects:
- An increase in number of Welcoming Week events worldwide in 2024 and the following years.
- One new national Welcoming Week campaign will be activated in an additional participating country in 2024 by a national implementing organization, supported by Welcoming America. Lessons learned from 2023 and 2024 programming to support Welcoming Week catalyst organizations will be applied to future strategy.
- Hundreds of thousands of neighbors of all backgrounds - migrant, refugee, and non-migrant – will come together to build strong connections through local collaborative events.
- Ongoing local multi-sector inclusionary efforts will be uplifted and celebrated, reaching more than 546 million people through traditional media and social media annually.
- New stakeholders and unlikely supporters will be engaged through accessible events that lead to longer-term commitments.
- The narrative on migration in participating communities will be more positive and hopeful, affirming the importance of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity.
Welcoming Week is evaluated through monitoring and analyzing event data, traditional and social media engagement, and participant survey feedback.
- Activation of a new national Welcoming Week campaign is most successful when it is spearheaded by a trusted institution based in the country of focus, and supported by a hub organization with experience implementing Welcoming Week. The national implementing organization, whether governmental or a civil society actor, should have established working relationships across sectors and with local governments and/or civil society organizations across the nation in order to be successful in the first year.
- Global toolkits, peer learning, technical assistance, and/or financial resources provided by the hub organization are of the utmost importance to catalyse national Welcoming Weeks and ensure their sustainability into the future. It is possible to start small, with activation in a few cities, and see the campaign grow year over year with continued investment.
- In order to be successful in various countries, the campaign must provide flexibility to adapt to the local context, while still maintaining a common message. For example, Canada's Welcoming Week has emphasized social cohesion, New Zealand's campaign has encouraged partnership with Māori tribes, and Mexico's has highlighted interculturality. Yet all three campaigns center the power of a welcoming community. Local actors have been able to adopt and adapt global Welcoming Week resources to fit their needs.