Recently the Dallas, Texas, skyline lit up gold for the entire city to see in honor of its new campaign, #BeGolden. Sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, Catholic Charities and others, this effort aims to bridge the gap between newcomers and the receiving community.
When Bishop Edward Burns came to the Dallas area from Alaska, he noticed the lack of integration among immigrants and other long-time residents. The bishop envisioned a world where immigrants are treated the way all humans want to be treated, so he asked Catholic Charities of Dallas to call attention to the issue in a public way. Inspired by the golden rule–do unto others as you would have them unto you–this initiative seeks to educate and generate action to help welcome immigrants.
Launched this past April, the #BeGolden campaign enjoys outstanding support from every part of the community. Mayor Mike Rawlings, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, many different faith leaders, The Dallas Morning News, Richards-Lerma Agency, The United Way and CHRISTUS Health are just a few of its many Golden Ambassadors. Their website, begoldenjourney.com, houses information you do not easily find about immigration and how it benefits our nation. Throughout the campaign, awareness will be raised surrounding the positive impact immigrants have in their neighborhoods. For example, immigrants in Dallas were essential to the city’s economic success in 2017. Nineteen percent of the city’s small business owners, in fact, are immigrants. This initiative, also, is preparing to host events and displays, including a Welcome Wall and Walk-a-Mile video that will be available soon.
Overall, #BeGolden wants the community to connect with the human side of immigration, taking the conversation a step above politics. The aim is for everyone to gain a better understanding of the moral imperative of protecting the vulnerable and preserving the unity, health and safety of families. #BeGolden promotes change by improving the way the greater community welcomes immigrants.
“Diversity brings us to another level of richness in our community that can make us better together,” said Jane Koenecke, the director of the #BeGolden campaign. Although it started in Dallas, Texas, the campaign is gaining momentum regionally and in other states, and hopes to expand across the United States.
To learn more, visit the campaign website, follow it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved. Then, let CLINIC’s Immigrant Integration Center know how you plan to bring the golden rule into your community! Email us at email@example.com or tweet us at @cliniclegal.