Welcoming America Week

September 15-24, 2017

Momentum is building in the welcoming movement; more and more communities across the United States and the world are recognizing that immigrants and refugees make our communities stronger economically, socially, and culturally.

During the annual Welcoming America Week, communities across the U.S. host a variety of events that bring newcomers and long-term residents together. Here in East King County, event planning is underway to celebrate our richly diverse communities and help create a welcoming culture for all, from those born and raised here to those newly arrived.

This important week is part of a broader initiative based on the belief that we all do better when we BELONG. A sense of belonging, attachment to one’s community, and connection with others fosters increased safety, health, and happiness.

Consider Hosting an Event

The Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition is encouraging individuals, organizations, faith groups, neighborhoods, and city governments to host events throughout East King County. Events can be small like a book group discussion, neighborhood potluck, or art class. Or, something larger like a cross-cultural dance event or panel presentation.

All events are welcome as long as they promote a spirit of welcoming, and provide an opportunity for people from all backgrounds — newcomers and long-term residents — to come together.

Need inspiration? Download some ideas including the list of last year’s events in East King County.

What’s Involved in Hosting?

  • Organize the details of your event, including date, time, and venue.
  • Identify and obtain any resources needed for your event, including donations of food, supplies, etc.
  • Submit your event details to ERIC as soon as possible: by August 25th for entry on the national Welcoming Week website and by Sept. 1st at the latest to be included in ERIC’s calendar of events.
  • Invite family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues
  • When communicating about your event, please represent only your organization and not Welcoming America or the Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition. (Of course, you may say your event is part of national Welcoming Week.)
  • Please refrain from promoting policies, candidates, or conducting any other political activities.

ERIC will . . . 

  • Promote all events via press releases, emails, and social media.
  • List events on ERIC’s calendar page as well as on the national Welcoming America Week website (for events submitted by deadlines posted above).
  • Assist hosts with venue ideas and potential resources via ERIC’s members and partners.
  • Lastly, if your charitable organization is hosting an event, your organization will be listed on a donation page. Community members attending events will receive a handout with information on ways to stay involved, including local programs and services they can donate to.

Welcoming Week Info Session: August 8, 12-1:30pm at the Kirkland Library. All are welcome to attend, connect with other hosts, and share tips for successful events.

READY to SUBMIT YOUR EVENT? Enter your event details and start spreading the word!

Book Recommendations, Curated Films, and Discussion Guides

If you want to host a discussion centered around a book or film, here are some great resources:

ONWARD – Short films on a variety of immigration issues, paired with relevant data and discussion guides.

8 Borders, 8 Days – The film, which tells the story of a Syrian mother and her two children, has been featured in two US film festivals and won an award for contributing to the conversation around immigration in the U.S. Consider inviting the filmmaker, Amanda Bailly, to speak in person or via Skype. Submit request to host a screening.

America Divided (EPIX original documentary series) – “This series cuts to the heart of the inequality crisis, exploring life-and-death struggles around the economic, social and political divide. Our aim is to expose the damage extreme inequality inflicts on all Americans, reveal its systemic causes, and celebrate real-world heroes fighting for solutions.” Request a free screening and access the discussion guide.

Books for Children and Young Adults: Stories about Immigrants and Refugees

Books for Adults:

10 Essential Books About the Immigrant Experience

Book Club Books About Immigrants and Refugees

Midnight in Broad Daylight is a book about a Japanese American family that found itself on opposite sides during World War II. Discussion Guide

Attend an Event

There are two ways to stay informed about local events:

  1. Visit our calendar page for event listings (events will be posted starting mid-August).
  2. Subscribe to the ERIC blog which will put you on our email list for announcements.