September 10, 2021
Media Contact: Ebony Stith, 517-285-4549
Sept.10-19 is Welcoming Week
The Office of Global Michigan is encouraging all Michiganders to celebrate National Welcoming Week, Sept. 10-19, highlighting the importance of bringing together neighbors of all backgrounds to build strong connections and achieve collective prosperity.
Newcomers are a vital part of our communities, bringing fresh perspectives and new ideas, while also contributing to the vibrant diversity we value. Michigan is a welcoming state and can achieve greater prosperity by making people from all around the world feel valued, regardless of where they were born or what they look like.
"This is a great endeavor that will help shed light on the positive contributions and impacts immigrants bring to Michigan," said Global Michigan's Director of New American Integration Karen Phillippi. "We sincerely hope others will join us in celebrating not only our current immigrant, refugee and international residents who have helped make Michigan the great state it is today, but also all future ones to come."
As of 2019, there were 678,255 immigrants living in Michigan, making up 6.8% of the state's total population. They not only contributed heavily from an economic impact ($7.8 billion in taxes paid and $20.3 billion in spending power), but also politically with 348,377 eligible voters.
"Immigrant communities have played a crucial role in Michigan's cultural richness, workforce and economy, and will continue to do so," Phillippi said. "This is why it's so important to continue promoting inclusive communities, in order to ensure all Michiganders have equal opportunities for success."
During Welcoming Week, Global Michigan invites Michiganders to declare that #BelongingBeginsWithUS - that each and every one of us has the power to help others, regardless of their background, to feel like they are seen, embraced, welcomed and included in our communities. In doing so, everyone can play a part in vital work toward the inclusion of newcomers to create a culture and policy environment where all residents feel empowered to work with each other in strengthening the social, civic and economic fabric across the state.
Michiganders can join Global Michigan by sharing their personal immigrant and refugee stories and highlighting their contributions to their community on social media, adding #WelcomingWeek and #IWelcome to their posts.
The www.welcomingweek.org site includes downloadable signs and other resources to celebrate the immigrant, refugee and international community.
Visit www.newamericaneconomy.org/locations/michigan to learn more about immigrants and the economy.
Learn more about Global Michigan at www.michigan.gov/OGM.
About Welcoming Week
Since 2012, Welcoming Week has served as the annual campaign and celebration led by Welcoming America to showcase the growing movement of communities striving to be more welcoming places for all, including immigrants. By fostering mutual respect and cooperation between new and long-time residents, Welcoming Week brings together people across lines of difference toward greater prosperity for all. Learn more at welcomingweek.org.