Yard Signs Available

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Join Welcoming Gainesville & Alachua County in demonstrating that we are a community of inclusion and respect. WG&AC decries hate-filled, exclusionary rhetoric, such as that promoted by Richard Spencer and his followers. We have had several requests for yard signs prior to Mr. Spencer’s October 19 event at the University of Florida and would be happy to distribute them to those interested. Signs (plus metal stand) are $10/each. Please e-mail us at welcominggainesville@gmail.com for more information. Thank you!

Join us for our 2017 Welcoming Week!

Each September, Welcoming Gainesville & Alachua County joins the national Welcoming America movement to participate in “Welcoming Week,” which includes a variety of events that celebrate the contributions of immigrants, refugees, and foreign-born residents in our community.

20690155_1818153544866977_1112350233081438834_oThis year’s event will extend over 10 days and include the following programs and activities:

Monday, September 18, 5 pm, City Hall: Welcoming Week proclamations by Mayor Poe, Commissioner Cornell, and local students

Tuesday, September 19, 7 pm, University Evangelical Lutheran Church: Speaking engagement by Ericka Curran, immigration attorney, along withBaker Interfaith Friends

Thursday, September 21, time and place TBA: Screening of 8 Borders, 8 Days with Students Organize for Syria at UF

Sunday, September 24, time TBA, Emmanuel Mennonite Church, Gainesville: Speaking engagement with Cindy Nelly, nurse practitioner, who just returned from medical work in Mosul, Iraq

We will also be collecting small household goods for refugees resettled by Catholic Charities Jacksonville and school supplies for refugee children with Gators for Refugee Medical Relief. Please e-mail us at welcominggainesville@gmail.com if interested in donating.

Check back for more information as we update the schedule. Thank you!

Free Online Course Offering: Welcoming Our Newest Neighbors

Did you know the majority of refugees and immigrants have never been inside of an American’s home?
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Photo courtesy of The Refugee Center Online

The single most important factor in ensuring that newcomers to the United States become integrated and self-sufficient members of society is the support of their new community. Your efforts matter, and we want to provide you with the tools to make a positive impact.

The Refugee Center Online is offering a free online course to help individuals gain the necessary skills and knowledge to better interact with refugees and immigrants in the community. The lessons are self-paced, which means you can start anytime and complete the training on your own schedule.

Remember: Welcoming newcomers doesn’t always have to be formal. It might mean simply being friendly to those in your community. It might mean making a choice to go out of your comfort zone and invite a newcomer family to dinner.

Volunteer Coordinator Needed!

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This summer, we’ll be saying goodbye to the current coordinator of our English Partner Program. Would you or someone you know be interested in taking over this volunteer position? (The program basically runs itself, so the time commitment isn’t too intense!)

Our English Partner Program brings native speakers who volunteer as teachers together with new English learners for one hour a week. English partners can meet anywhere, anytime, and will speak in English in order to improve the learner’s conversational skills. We currently have some 50 volunteers and learners involved!

Please message us if you’re interested in helping us continue this great program! This is a wonderful opportunity for college-aged students looking to gain experience in the areas of teaching, program management, and nonprofit work.

Thank you!

Welcoming spring with a new logo!

We are thrilled to share our new logo with you, Gainesville and Alachua County! What do you think?!

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We’d like to extend our sincerest thanks to Lori Gibbons (lori.j.gibbons@gmail.com) who created this design especially for us. (She’s in the process of building her portfolio right now and is eager to collaborate with others, so if you’re in need of high-quality graphic design work, contact her!)