Mayor Ballard affirms Indianapolis as a Welcoming City that respects and embraces the cultural and economic contributions of immigrants
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard recently affirmed Indianapolis’ commitment to identify opportunities to engage Indy’s global immigrant communities and further immigrants’ role in building the local economy as part of the Welcoming America initiative [see attached Proclamation].
Welcoming America is a national, grassroots-driven collaborative that works to promote mutual respect and cooperation between foreign-born and native-born Americans.
“Being a Welcoming City means celebrating our diversity and welcoming all people,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “Immigrants not only enhance our workforce and contribute to a more vibrant and global economy, they broaden our perspective and make our neighborhoods and our city stronger. We encourage businesses and residents to join in our effort to expand opportunities and promote inclusion for all residents, including immigrants.”
Indianapolis is already a multicultural city. Residents include more than 120 nationalities and speak 90 different languages. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 8.3 percent of Indianapolis residents are foreign-born. The Migration Policy Institute ranked Indianapolis ninth in population change in the number of foreign-born residents, making it one of the fastest growing immigrant populations in the country.
“For 10 years the Immigrant Welcome Center has been connecting immigrants to local services to ensure they succeed in Indianapolis,” said Terri Morris Downs, Executive Director, Immigrant Welcome Center. “Earlier this year, Indianapolis leaders made a strong statement recognizing the importance of welcoming all to our city.
By seeking this designation, Mayor Ballard extends this welcoming hand to immigrants who enrich our community civically, economically, culturally and socially. We are looking forward to working with leaders from the public and private sectors on policies and best practices that ensure immigrants thrive in Indianapolis.”
Welcoming America provides tools and resources to help participating cities advance their welcoming resolutions [See Mayor Ballard’s Resolution], initiatives and strategies. City leaders also can participate in national and transatlantic learning exchanges that highlight promising practices from globally competitive cities.
The Immigrant Welcome Center already hosts a celebration event as part of National Welcoming Week. Designed to help residents and new immigrants connect and learn about other cultures, the third annual Welcoming Week will be Sept. 13-19, 2015, in Indianapolis.
“We applaud Mayor Ballard for his leadership in recognizing that our diverse population is our greatest asset, and for committing to work in partnership with the community to build a more inclusive and welcoming Indianapolis,” said David Lubell, Executive Director, Welcoming America. “We encourage other leaders in Indiana to follow his lead.”