March 2016 Update
In January 2016, our Immigrant Welcome Center Welcoming Cities Task Force started meeting to discuss developing a citywide immigrant integration plan that will answer the following questions:
How can we make Indianapolis more immigrant-friendly?
What roadblocks do immigrants face on their path to success?
What can we do to help immigrants thrive?
Over the past few months, our task force has been quite busy trying to answer those questions. We have:
- Grown to 100 task force members! Our members are meeting on a monthly basis on the following subcommittees: education; social services; public safely; economic development and employment; civic/community engagement; and health and wellness.
- Created a survey for immigrant newcomers to learn more about their experiences here in Indy. Graduate students from the IUPUI School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) created the survey and will provide analysis from the findings in late April.
- Accepted a $3,000 grant from the WE Global Network for a spring visit to Pittsburgh, PA. Welcoming Pittsburgh developed the Pittsburgh plan in 2014, and the city is beginning to implement many of the recommendations from that report. We expect to bring back new ideas and approaches from our friends in the Keystone state.
- Submitted a white paper to the Mayor’s office, and we have met with city leaders to discuss the development of the immigrant integration plan.
- Been selected as one of 20 cities for the Gateways for Growth Challenge created by the Partnership for a New American Economy and Welcoming America.
What’s next? We will be coordinating community focus groups, and we will continue gathering data that shows the economic impact of immigrants in our city.
Stay tuned here on our website for more exciting updates.