SPRINGDALE, AR – The Cisneros Center for New Americans teamed up with Welcoming America to host a Welcoming Institute focused on ways to create a more welcoming atmosphere for immigrants in Northwest Arkansas.
The April 16 session was held at the Workers Justice Center in Springdale, AR, and included large-group discussions led by experts from Welcoming America’s national team, as well as breakout sessions on building meaningful contact between immigrants and receiving communities, engaging leadership, and using positive communication about immigrants.
Participants from diverse sectors, including educational, corporate, non-profit, and philanthropic, shared ideas in collaborative action planning sessions to develop tangible steps to make NWA more welcoming to immigrants.
“This opportunity for NWA to collaborate actively in making the region as welcoming as possible for immigrants comes at a critical time when the federal government has made it clear that we must come together as a nation to continue providing meaningful opportunities for newcomers to integrate and achieve the dreams they seek as members of this country,” said Cisneros Center Director of Programs and Operations Carrie Wolk.
Participants gained tools to create better opportunities for immigrants and long-term resident to interact, use positive communication about the immigrant community, assure that NWA leadership both understands and acts to empower newcomers to the region.
“The Welcoming America training was an amazing opportunity for our community leaders to build on their strengths, improve relationships with other stakeholders and join forces to continue working collectively on the issues that are important for our immigrant communities in NWA,” said Geovanny Sarmiento, Vice President of Minority Business Development for the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce.
Welcoming America is a national, grassroots-driven collaborative that works to promote mutual respect and cooperation between foreign-born and U.S.-born Americans. The ultimate goal of Welcoming America is to create an atmosphere of acceptance—community by community—in which immigrants are more likely to integrate into the social fabric of their adopted hometowns.
Founded in 2014, the Cisneros Center’s mission is to ensure that every immigrant family has the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. Henry Cisneros, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton, founded the 501(C)(3) non-partisan, non-profit institution to bring together the philanthropic, non-profit, government, faith-based, and private sectors and align their efforts to create clear avenues of opportunity for New Americans.