Welcoming Michigan: A Statewide Grassroots Immigrant Integration Program



September 25, 2012

Susan Reed—Supervising Attorney, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center and Program Supervisor, Welcoming Michigan, and

Lillie Wolff—West Michigan Communities Coordinator, Welcoming Michigan

Welcoming Michigan is a statewide grassroots immigrant integration initiative based at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. Welcoming Michigan is an affiliate of Welcoming America. Our current geographic reach includes the Southeast Michigan communities of Sterling Heights, Hamtramck, and SW Detroit’s Chadsey Condon neighborhood; and Van Buren County in Southwest Michigan. The program’s model is a three-pronged approach to immigrant integration: strategic communications, leadership development, and public engagement. These efforts aim to spread positive messages and images of Michigan’s immigrants and engage local residents in identifying opportunities to bring U.S.-born and foreign-born community members together to build trust and mutual respect. Welcoming Michigan seeks guidance from the WMU Evaluation Center regarding the program’s development of evaluation methods to measure the efficacy of the Welcoming Michigan model in changing people’s hearts and minds about Michigan’s immigrants.

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