New American Welcome Center to host a welcoming week in Champaign County


CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — The New American Welcome Center at the University Y partners with many local organizations to host a welcoming week that has a series of events for immigrants and US-born residents to get to know one another and celebrate what unites the community.

Officials said it will be held from Friday to September 19 to celebrate “Belonging Begins with US” across 28 free and family-friendly events throughout Champaign County.

Jes DeVries, Director of Immigrant Family Services and Welcoming Week coordinator, said, “I love this year’s theme: Belonging Begins with US. After a year and a half of COVID-19 keeping us separate, welcoming week is a great reminder that together, we form one diverse and beautiful whole. Together, we create space and belonging for one another.” 

According to officials, the welcoming week will start with a Kickoff Celebration at the University YMCA on Friday afternoon. Other events include:
– The release of the Champaign County Welcoming Plan at the I-Hotel on September 15 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
– Performance by the Jasmine Field Orchestra on September 18 at the University YMCA’s Latzer Hall from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The New American Welcome Center is committed to make Champaign County a place where all immigrants can thrive and flourish by engaging local institutions and mobilizing community resources to ensure equitable access to services, economic opportunity, and meaningful belonging.

Visit the website of the University YMCA for more information about the welcoming week events. 

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