The Fond du Lac Family YMCA will join hundreds of YMCAs and other organizations nationwide in celebrating Welcoming Week, an event to celebrate immigrants’ contributions to communities, in turn highlighting the Fond du Lac Family YMCA’s commitment to inclusion and diversity. The Y will celebrate Welcoming Week September 16-20, 2019.
The Y has a long history of helping immigrants integrate into their new neighborhoods and preparing receiving communities to be inclusive. In 1856, the Y was the first organization in the U.S. to offer English as a Second Language classes to immigrants. In the late 1800’s, YMCA immigration secretaries greeted hundreds of thousands of new arrivals at Ellis Island (New York) and Angel Island (San Francisco), helping them locate family members, housing and employment. Welcoming Week is a national celebration of the growing movement of communities that fully embrace new Americans and their contributions to the social fabric of our country.
“At the Fond du Lac Family YMCA we believe Fond du Lac is stronger when everyone in the community feels welcome and we can all work together for the common good,” said JJ Raflik, CEO/Executive Director. “Welcoming Week is an opportunity for the Y to introduce our new Diversity Statement and raise awareness of our Y’s ‘for all” mission and commitment to inclusion strategies. Welcoming Week is a reminder that the YMCA is a place in the community where everyone is welcome. We are proud to be a part of Welcoming Week, which demonstrates that in places large and small, rural and urban, people of all backgrounds are coming together to create stronger communities.”
Fond du Lac Family YMCA Diversity Statement:
Here at the Y, we believe that a healthier and stronger community emerges when everyone has the opportunity to cultivate and nurture a healthy mind, body and spirit. Our core values are honesty, respect, responsibility and caring–they guide everything we do. Together we ensure that everyone across age, ability, cultural background, ethnicity, faith, gender expression, gender identity, ideology, income, language, national origin, race, religion or sexual orientation has access to resources to reach their full potential.
During Welcoming Week, the Fond du Lac Family YMCA will showcase a map of the world in the lobby and ask members, guests and newcomers to participate in Welcoming Week by marking their country of origin or heritage on the map. There will also be “Tell Us Your Story” cards available, for members and guests to share their country of origin or heritage and describe in their own words what a welcoming and inclusive community looks like. These cards will be shared with our Y community.
About Welcoming Week
Welcoming Week, founded by Welcoming America, is an annual celebration bringing together thousands of people and hundreds of local events that celebrate the contributions of immigrants and refugees and the role communities play to foster greater welcome. Welcoming Week is Sept. 13-22 across the country and now expanding to other parts of the world.
Welcoming America is leading a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by making everyone who lives there feel like they belong. Welcoming America believes that all people, including immigrants, are valued contributors and vital to the success of both our communities and our shared future. www.welcomingamerica.org.