Welcoming Week promotes understanding and acceptance by bringing together immigrants and native-born residents in a spirit of unity.
At the Y, we believe communities are at their strongest when everyone feels valued, has support to reach their potential, and can fully participate in society.
Today, there are more than 42 million foreign-born individuals living in the U.S.—more than at any other point in history. For us to reach our potential as a society, it is imperative that immigrants have access to integration services and receiving communities are prepared to welcome all.
Welcoming Week is a nationwide celebration of the growing movement of communities that fully embrace new Americans and their contributions to the social fabric of our country.
Created by YMCA of the USA’s (Y-USA) national partner Welcoming America, Welcoming Week brings together immigrants and U.S.-born residents to promote cross-cultural understanding and raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone!
THE Y’s HISTORY OF SERVING IMMIGRANTS
Did you know that the Y has a long history of helping immigrants integrate into their new neighborhoods and preparing the receiving communities to be inclusive?
- In 1856, the Y was the first organization in the U.S. to offer ESL classes to immigrants. (ESL: English as a Second Language)
- In the late 1800s, 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.
- In the early 1900s, the YMCA of Greater New York introduced adult night classes to new immigrants.
- As the U.S. population moved westward, Ys provided affordable housing to immigrating and migrating communities.
Stay tuned for updates on how we plan to celebrate Welcoming Week at the Pav YMCA.