Bellevue embraces Welcoming Week

Bellevue embraces Welcoming Week
Posted on 09/06/2017
Welcoming Week logo

In collaboration with other Eastside cities, nonprofit partners, faith organizations and community groups, the City of Bellevue will host a variety of activities in celebration of Welcoming Week 2017, taking place Sept. 15-24. The events will highlight the city’s ongoing commitment to diversity while also recognizing the importance of engaging immigrants, refugees and residents from all cultural backgrounds.

The festivities will kick off on Friday, Sept. 15, with a 2 p.m. presentation called “Welcoming 101: Walking Our Talk” at the Redmond Library. On Monday, Sept. 18, Mayor John Stokes will present a Welcome Week proclamation also signed by the mayors of Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond and Sammamish. The events are hosted by an array of local partners and have been coordinated by the Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition (ERIC). A full list, broken down by city, can been found at Welcoming Week.

“Welcoming Week is a special event that we’re proud to be a part of,” said Mark Manuel, diversity outreach and engagement administrator for the city. “It’s a great opportunity to bring the community together and for all residents to be part of something positive that influences the way we relate to each other.”

In 2014, the City Council adopted the vision statement, “Bellevue welcomes the world. Our diversity is our strength. We embrace the future while respecting our past.” Since then, city has led a strategic effort to engage residents through a number of programs including the Diversity Advantage Initiative. The U.S. Census Bureau found, that as of 2015, Bellevue became the largest city in Washington state to have a majority population of people of color.

Welcoming Week is sponsored by Welcoming America, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that supports local outreach efforts to “build bridges between newcomers and long-time residents.”

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