PHILADELPHIA — Welcoming Week is a national initiative that celebrates the contributions of newcomers and brings together immigrants, refugees, and those who were born in the United States through an annual series of events. In Philadelphia, the Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA) helps organize events and activities across the city. Welcoming Week 2020 is taking place September 12-20.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Welcoming Week 2020 is being held virtually. The week’s activities provide long-time and foreign-born residents experiences to explore other cultures. Welcoming Week showcases Philadelphia’s open, friendly, and welcoming environment for immigrants, refugees, and people from all backgrounds.
“Philadelphia is a Welcoming City and a place in which people can thrive. Welcoming Week is an opportunity to develop a deeper appreciation for other cultures and to dismantle the anti-immigrant narrative fueled by the Federal administration. We embrace immigrants and refugees and recognize their contributions to the wellbeing of Philadelphia’s communities,” said Mayor Jim Kenney.
Philadelphia’s 2020 Welcoming Week is hosted alongside hundreds of events in communities across the country. Amid the pandemic, OIA worked closely with City and community partners to prepare the calendar of virtual events for Welcoming Week 2020.
“We are proud to host a different kind of Welcoming Week this year. The events curated will highlight immigrants but also connect communities in Philadelphia,” said Amy Eusebio, Executive Director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs. “Our city is home to thousands of immigrants and refugees from all over the world. Here, they feel safe and accepted, and it is our responsibility to continue building an inclusive and more equal city for all.”
Events scheduled for Welcoming Week 2020 include:
The Color of Us: A Virtual Family Festival
Wednesday, September 16 | 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Kids and parents will learn from storytellers, musicians, and performers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East, the stories and traditions that keep immigrants and refugees strong. Immigrants and refugees face many hardships and challenges on their journeys. They bring strength and resilience. Share these stories across cultures with your children and family. The Office of Immigrant Affairs sponsors this event. Register here.
Wellness and Resilience During Uncertain Times
Thursday, September 17 | 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
In celebration of the Welcoming Week, International Day of Peace, and Recovery in Philadelphia, a group of immigrant individuals, in partnership with key organizations, will provide a safe space for the immigrant/refugee community to discuss and share approaches to wellness and resiliency, and share experiences of pre-and post-migration trauma. Members of the public can register here.
Community Conversation: LGBTQ Immigrants & Coalition Building
Thursday, September 17 | 5:30 -7:00 p.m.
Join the Office of LGBT Affairs and the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services for a virtual panel and community conversation. Local community organizers will share experiences of what it means to be at the intersection of various identities, how they have built grassroots organizing communities, and how they are advocating for equitable representation and resources. More information available here.
To view a full list of events, visit the Welcoming Week event spotlight page at phila.gov/welcoming-week.