Welcoming communities resources

Here you will find resources that demonstrate practical ideas for communities to create an environment that makes new residents feel welcome and included in the fabric of our rural towns and villages. Explore how you can make your public places and civic leadership more inclusive by ensuring that all residents have access to services and opportunities, and that they can influence decisions that affect the entire community.

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families-Bureau of Refugee Programs

The Bureau of Refugee Programs collaborates with local organizations to provide services that help refugees achieve economic self-sufficiency and social adjustment after they arrive in the U.S.

Welcoming Week

Through Welcoming Week, a nationwide initiative, organizations and communities bring together neighbors of all backgrounds to build strong connections and affirm the importance of providing welcoming and inclusive places as an important step toward achieving prosperity for all.

Certified Welcoming

Communities that meet certain standards showing a sustained commitment to building respect and cooperation among diverse groups of residents can earn the title of Certified Welcoming. They’ll also have opportunities to share their practices for building an inclusive environment.

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute’s Thrive Rural Framework drives toward this outcome: Communities and Native nations across the rural United States are healthy places where each and every person  belongs, lives with dignity, and thrives.

Love Wisconsin

Love Wisconsin is a digital storytelling project that celebrates our state, our lives, and our shared future.

Its mission is to use storytelling and social media to bring about a more connected, compassionate, and engaged Wisconsin.

The Immigrant Learning Center

The Public Education Institute at the Immigrant Learning Center, based in Malden, Massachusetts, has developed a presentation called Welcoming Refugees in Rural Areas. It highlights the efforts of four rural communities across the country to support and welcome refugees, and in so doing, make their communities more vibrant.

UWEX Webinar: Unlocking the Potential—Exploring Rural Recruitment Welcoming Strategies

This webinar, featuring specialists at the University of Minnesota Extension, dives into the world of rural recruitment and welcoming strategies, drawing inspiration from successful initiatives in Minnesota communities. The ideas presented in this program provide practical tools and insights that can be applied to Wisconsin communities.

Power of Perception, Inc.

Power of Perception’s mission is to create a collection of resources and provide mentoring to African American and biracial youths in middle and high school to empower them to become contributing citizens. The Eau Claire-based organization won a 2023 Wisconsin Innovation Award.

Rural Women’s Initiative

Wisconsin Rural Women’s Initiative is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is active in more than 60 Wisconsin counties. The organization works to develop self-sustaining women’s circles that maintain healthy practices and connections as a way to break down the isolating effects of rural living and to support women in rural Wisconsin and address their needs.

Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access

The IDEA Center, at the University of Buffalo, New York, produces knowledge and tools to increase equity in design for underrepresented groups. The center focuses on developing buildings that are more accessible to people with disabilities as well as the general population.

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