12 Ways to Promote Integration in Your Community
Integration happens most successfully at the local level. Positive day to day interactions between local residents encourage mutual understanding of different perspectives and lead to increased respect amongst all those calling a community home. Creating an atmosphere of respect for the thoughts and opinions of all residents requires thoughtful and purposeful effort. Here are several ideas that adult members of a community can try when working to create a welcoming place for all.
- Challenge unwelcoming remarks about immigrants in your community, at work and at home. Use facts and resources from nonpartisan sources, such as the Pew Research Center and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- Become friends with an immigrant and learn a few words in his or her native language.
- Volunteer to mentor English language learners or help with citizenship test preparation.
- Volunteer at a local refugee resettlement agency in your community to help newly arrived refugees learn English, find a job, and adjust to their new home.
- Volunteer for an immigrant rights organization in your community. Check CLINIC’s website or the Corporation for National and Community Service to find an organization in your area.
- Ask your local library, museum, and community center to include perspectives of immigrants in planned public events, classes that are offered, and resources that are purchased. Purchase and donate a book about immigrants or an immigrant story to your local library.
- Volunteer at a nearby Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that serves lower-income immigrant (and nonimmigrant) families in your community.
- Consider organizing a potluck/town hall event where residents can break bread together and talk about how immigration affects them.
- Write or call your Congressional representatives to encourage action on immigration reform.
- Work with your local community leaders/elected officials to pass a Welcoming Resolution in your community to highlight your community’s desire to create a welcoming place for all residents.
- Host an event for National Welcoming Week.
- Offer to host a naturalization oath ceremony or naturalization application workshop in your community. Contact your local authorized immigration legal services provider or local USCIS office for more information.
Please contact Leya Speasmaker at email@example.com for more information on how to promote and encourage immigrant integration within your community.