***For Immediate Release***
October 7, 2015
Contact, Jeff Sheldon
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
Office: (402) 438-8853
Mobile: (402) 840-7289
Nebraska Communities Honored at National Welcoming Summit
White House recognizes Nebraska towns for efforts to build more welcoming, inclusive, communities
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Nebraska communities were among a group of cities and towns from across the U.S. represented at a summit at the White House to discuss local strategies for creating welcoming, inclusive communities.
Representatives gathered in our nation’s capital to celebrate progress made and plan the future steps of the Building Welcoming Communities Campaign (Building Welcoming Communities), a national effort announced in September by the White House Task Force on New Americans to support the growing movement of communities that are becoming more prosperous by embracing immigrants and fostering opportunity for all.
Crete, Lincoln, and Schuyler were among the first 40 cities and counties nationwide to sign on to be early adopters of Building Welcoming Communities.
“Lincoln already has seen how much there is to gain economically, culturally, and socially when we have a community where everyone can thrive,” Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler said. “We are proud to be a leader in Nebraska and across the country in building strong, diverse communities where everyone is welcome. We look forward to building on this national partnership, and continue to be a city where everyone can seek their piece of the American dream.”
Building Welcoming Communities is one part of the first-ever national immigrant integration strategies brought forward by the White House Task Force on Immigrant Integration. Crete Mayor Roger Foster joined representatives from Nebraska Is Home and Nebraska Appleseed at the White House to map out next steps for strengthening immigrant inclusion.
“Crete has been a Welcoming community that dates back to our inception and it’s served our community well for the last century,” Foster said. “Now, we welcome the blending of our Hispanic population to add to what makes the melting pot of Nebraska great.”
Today’s White House meeting brings together communities participating in Building Welcoming Communities, White House Task Force members, and national experts. It will provide meaningful opportunities for state and local governments to learn from one another, and national experts to share insights on emerging best practices.
“Schuyler has been a “welcoming community” for some time. We are making it official, now,” Schuyler Mayor Dave Reinecke said. “We realize the positive impact that new people to our community have made. This has put Schuyler in a very positive position for future success for our community and its citizens.”
“In Crete, Schuyler and Lincoln there is a commitment from city leadership, schools, faith leaders, and nonprofit organizations to welcome newcomers and to lead with proactive efforts so the whole community is successful,” said Christa Yoakum, Coordinator of Nebraska Is Home.
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