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A Welcoming Sign to Immigrants

STERLING HEIGHTS, August 24, 2012: Welcoming Michigan has unveiled a statewide billboard campaign to send the message, “When Michigan welcomes immigrants, Michigan thrives.” The first billboard went up at 14 Mile and Van Dyke in Sterling Heights and the second billboard is along I-94 in Van Buren County. The billboards are part of a positive media campaign organized by Welcoming Michigan, a group working to create a welcoming atmosphere for immigrants across the state.


Welcoming Michigan is one of 20 Welcoming America affiliates around the country that is using positive messaging campaigns to highlight the shared values and contributions of immigrants in local communities. Welcoming Michigan works with local leaders to bring long-time and new residents together to learn about each other’s values and cultures.

“So far the feedback has been really positive,” said Christine Sauvé of Welcoming Michigan. “Local residents are excited to see messages that showcase their communities as welcoming to people of all backgrounds.”

The media campaign also highlights the important contributions immigrants make to the local culture and economy in communities across the state. “We believe it is in the state’s best interest to welcome immigrants,” said Lillie Wolff, Welcoming Michigan’s West Communities Coordinator. “Foreign-born residents contribute to the economy as business owners, consumers, students, and are an important part of the workforce. Working together is how we will create a more prosperous future.”

The billboard in Sterling Heights will run through the weekend and the billboard in Van Buren County will run through November. Sterling Heights and Van Buren County are two of four communities where Welcoming Michigan works directly with immigrants and U.S.-born residents to promote mutual respect and understanding.

Hamtramck and the Chadsey Condon neighborhood in southwest Detroit also have active “Welcoming Committees” made up of local leaders who help plan and direct activities for their communities. Events include film screenings, faith encounters, and public dialogue to help build connections among members of the community. Welcoming Michigan hopes to expand its work to other communities seeking to increase understanding in the coming months.

Copyright © 1989 to 2012 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/28/12 06:29:57 -0700.



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