Certified Welcoming Blog

From left to right: Andy Toy, Philadelphia Mayor's Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs; Amy Eusebio, Philadelphia Office of Immigrant Affairs; Rachel Perić, Welcoming America; and Jamie Blackwell, Philadelphia Mayor's Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs.

How Philadelphia is advancing welcoming work through transparency and collaboration

In recent years, the community of welcomers in Philadelphia mobilized to support refugees arriving in the city. More than 25,000 Afghan refugees were welcomed through the Philadelphia International Airport between August 2021 and March 2022, and over 100 Haitians arrived in the city after the political unrest and natural disasters experienced in Haiti in August…

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Five approaches to welcoming that are advancing inclusion and equity in San José

In March 2022, the City of San José, California became Certified Welcoming. Over a year later, we interviewed Zulma Maciel, director of San José’s Office of Racial Equity, to learn more about unique approaches the city government uses to cultivate equity and inclusion for immigrant communities and Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Using racial…

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Group photo featuring members of a delegation from Portugal with members of the Dallas city government

In Dallas, being welcoming takes the city into the future

Author: Maya Smith-Custer In 2019, the City of Dallas became the first in Texas to earn the Certified Welcoming designation. As it approaches recertification this year, we spoke with Christina da Silva, Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs Officer of the City of Dallas, about the steps the city took to earn the initial designation and…

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A group of people from Salt Lake County Mayor's Office gather together to celebrate Welcoming Week in 2022

Affirmations and connections in Salt Lake County’s recertification journey

In June 2022, Salt Lake County, Utah was redesignated as Certified Welcoming. We talked with Joseph Genda, New American & Refugee Liaison in the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office for New Americans, to learn more about what the recertification process was like and why it was important for Salt Lake County to remain Certified Welcoming….

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Large group of people gather for a group photo to celebrate Louisville's designation as Certified Welcoming

Partnerships and welcoming infrastructure guide Louisville’s welcoming work

The Louisville Metro Government in Kentucky became Certified Welcoming in 2018 and recertified in 2022. Amos Izerimana, Director of Louisville’s Office for Immigrant Affairs, spoke with us about how recertification was an opportunity to reflect on partnerships and infrastructure that have advanced Louisville’s immigrant inclusion work. Collaborations make welcoming work possible Over the last decade,…

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Group of people gathers together to celebrate Certified Welcoming designation of Nashua, NH

Welcoming accountability in Nashua

In October 2022, the City of Nashua, New Hampshire became the first Certified Welcoming city in the Granite State and among the first in the New England region. In this blog, Kathleen Palmer, Communications & Special Projects Coordinator and Cecilia Ulibarri, former Constituent Services & Cultural Affairs Coordinator for the City of Nashua, share their…

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Residents in Detroit, Michigan hold up the certificate designating the City of Detroit as a Certified Welcoming place.

Harnessing a history of welcoming in Detroit

In April 2022, the City of Detroit, Michigan became the first place to become Certified Welcoming in the state. In this blog, we spoke with Roberto Torres, Director of Immigrant Affairs and Economic Inclusion for the City of Detroit, on the journey to achieve the Certified Welcoming designation. Background In 2015, the mayor of Detroit…

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Leading in Maine: Portland’s journey to become Certified Welcoming

In October 2022, the City of Portland, Maine became the first in the state to become Certified Welcoming and among the first in the New England region. In this blog, we asked Mary Davis, Interim Director of the city’s Housing and Economic Development Department, and Angelina Klouthis Jean, a consultant for the city’s Natural Helpers…

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Q&A with Mayor Jim Donchess of Nashua, NH

In October 2022, the City of Nashua, New Hampshire became the first city in the state and among the first in the region to become Certified Welcoming. In this Q&A interview, Mayor Jim Donchess shared a look back at the journey and vision for Nashua as a welcoming city. The City of Nashua was audited…

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How becoming Certified Welcoming supports continuity in local programs in Dayton

Author: Maya Smith-Custer A common concern for local government welcoming programs is change, particularly staff change or organizational restructuring. While the goal is to institutionalize welcoming and immigrant inclusion work throughout local government, the work often relies on a few select staff within the local government to be the conveners and champions. As such, a…

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