How can I make my community more welcoming?
Establishing successful welcoming communities takes the commitment of both individuals and teams. Champions offer passion and focus. Teams can offer useful stakeholder perspectives, broader reach into the community, and extra resources and ideas. A collaborative approach that embraces common goals across all parties can prevent the time constraints that can come from solo efforts.
So, who should you invite to be part of your welcoming initiative committee? Think broadly about the stakeholders in your community. Who understands the experiences of new immigrants to your area? Who already engages with new immigrants? Who else should? The Toolbox of Ideas for Smaller Centres suggests that you consider inviting:
- Government (all three levels)
- Established immigrants in your community
- Economic development offices
- Immigrant settlement agencies
- Health boards
- Educational institutions
- Law enforcement
- Community service groups
- Recreation providers
- Chambers of Commerce
In your first meetings you can discuss the needs of your community in relation to welcoming and retaining immigrants. You can also explore how these welcoming requirements reflect the mandates of various organizations around the table. How might you help each other meet your goals?
To learn more about how to use champions and teams to establish your foundation for welcoming watch our webinar HERE.
To be successful, every idea needs a champion, someone who can take hold of it and push it along, who can fire imaginations, build a team, and get things moving.
– Attracting and retaining immigrants: A toolbox of ideas for smaller centres, 2007, p.27
(The full reference for the source is National Working Group on Small Centre Strategies [Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria] (2007). Attracting and Retaining Immigrants: A Toolbox of Ideas for Smaller Centres. Retrieved from Pathways to Prosperity Canada: http://p2pcanada.ca/best-practices/toolbox-of-ideas-for-smaller-centres/ )