Hello friends,

During the week of September 16-25, 2016, Global Cleveland will partner with Welcoming America and their partners across the country to host National Welcoming Week, a nationwide event that highlights the contributions of immigrants to communities in the United States. Throughout the country, these events bring together immigrants and U.S.-born community members in a spirit of unity and appreciation for what makes our nation strong. We need moments like this now more than ever. We will be hosting a series of events, celebrations, and conversations throughout September (Global Cleveland Calendar) and share widely.

During this annual series of events, communities like ours bring together immigrants and U.S. born residents with the goal of raising awareness of the economic and social benefits of welcoming everyone – including new Americans. Last year, more than 245 events were hosted in over 80 communities.

Cleveland and Cuyahoga County are proud to be part of this celebration. Whether we are talking about the benefits to our community through an economic lens (“Can immigrants help spur economic growth in Cleveland area?” at Cleveland.com, “The Contributions of New Americans in Ohio” by Partnership for a New American Economy) or through our organization’s effort to highlight the lives being lived in our community of the great sisters and brothers among us born abroad (Immigrant Heritage Year by Global Cleveland) immigration is so much more than an academic discussion.

Throughout the RNC while our office opened early and stayed open late every day, we heard over and over again how professional our city was, how clean and safe and friendly and prepared and fun we were. Providing the foundation for all of this was a very direct and unmoveable fact: We are a welcoming people here in Cleveland and in Cuyahoga County. We welcome 1000 refugees a year, we welcome over 2000 new United States Citizens annually who are sworn in at our Federal Courthouse on West 9, and we embrace and educate 5000 students coming to our great institutions of higher learning every Fall. It’s what we do – we welcome people. We welcome the world. You are invited to participate in this most exciting effort. Don’t say thanks, just say you’re welcome.