During Omaha Diversity Week and the first ever National Welcoming Week, activities in Omaha and around the country recognized efforts of inclusivity and inspiring others to welcome immigrant neighbors into the workplace and the community.
Throughout Omaha, in business, in city government, and in community celebrations and social groups, Omahans recognized the contributions of immigrant community members. Hundreds of beautiful You’re Welcome posters created by Omaha artists went up in Omaha Public Schools, on college campuses, in the Omaha Public libraries, businesses and local coffee houses.
Throughout the week, the people of Omaha promoted the contributions of new Americans and the value of cultural customs. South Sudan Community Association (SSCA Omaha) held open houses, Mayor Jim Suttle gave speech about the economic benefits of family-owned businesses in the south Omaha neighborhood that has long been enriched by immigrant families, and the El Grito festival invited people of all cultures to come together in celebration of shared independence.
Jack Koraleski, President and CEO of Union Pacific Railroad, said attracting the most capable people, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity has been critical to the success of his company. Similarly, Kirk Kellner, Wells Fargo Regional President, said successful and competitive companies value each person for their culture, skills and talent.
Later in the week, Mayor Suttle spoke of the vitality and productivity of South 24th Street. He said the efforts of hardworking families and new entrepreneurs who have immigrated to Omaha has brought millions of dollars of revenue to the city.
Bookending the week, the 2012 National Immigrant Integration Conference drew hundreds of community leaders to Baltimore this year to discuss the social and economic benefits of integration as well as creative strategies for communities, institutions, and local governments to promote inclusion and a stronger future for all.