Nearly all Americans have an immigrant backstory. Share yours with our interactive Welcoming Week maps, now available at your local YMCA community center.
The Puget Sound region is home to a rich tapestry of residents, including a wide spectrum of gender, race, origin, ethnicity, religion, and culture. Our differences are what make us a stronger community, and providing a voice to those with different perspectives is integral to moving forward together.
As we honor the ways we are unique, we must also prioritize inclusivity and help everyone feel they belong. Nearly all Americans have an immigrant backstory. Some may go further back than others, but this is what has made our country the great American melting pot. Immigrants are an important part of the mosaic of our community, and Welcoming Week celebrates the growing movement of communities that fully embrace newcomer immigrants. By participating in Welcoming Week, we honor their contributions to the social, economic and cultural fabric of our country.
Welcoming Week is September 9 - 18
The Y believes our communities are stronger and more vibrant when everyone feels welcome in our centers. From September 9 – 18, we ask you to join us in celebrating Welcoming Week, a time to honor the contributions and culture of immigrants in our communities. For more than 170 years, the Y has helped immigrants integrate into their new communities by offering a place where they feel they belong. The Y launched the country’s first English as a Second Language class in 1856 and also provided support to thousands of new immigrants who arrived at Ellis and Angel Islands in the early 1900s.
Today, immigrants represent 13% of the U.S. population and make a big impact across the country. One in four new businesses is started by immigrants, which employ 4.7 million workers and generate $776 billion in revenue. Immigrant-led households also have a whopping $9.3 trillion in spending power. But their impact stretches far beyond just economics. Approximately 48% of newly-arrived immigrants above the age of 25 hold a college degree, and on average, immigrants who are engaged with an organization volunteer 20 weeks a year, nearly two weeks more than their U.S.-born counterparts. There is no doubt that immigrants play a vital role in this country and we are happy to offer them a welcoming place!
We truly are better together. Welcoming Week promotes cross-cultural understanding and community cohesion by bringing together immigrants and U.S.-born residents in a spirit of unity. Head to your local YMCA community center today and check out the interactive Welcoming Week map. You can share where your family traces its roots, and find out where your fellow YMCA members are originally from!