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Hello from the Blog Team!

Welcome to the Welcoming Michigan Blog! We hope these updates give you a taste of the wonderful activities taking place across Michigan to build immigrant-friendly communities. Please check back frequently for posts!


Rebecca Bell is a resident of Kalamazoo County, one of Michigan's 12 Welcoming Cities and Counties. She offers the following reflection on welcoming refugees... I have been amazed, encouraged and blessed by the outpouring of love and support for us and for this Congolese refugee family that is currently staying with us. I know that some of you would do exactly what we’re doing if you had been the ones presented with the need and had the space. Others of you are passionate about welcoming refugees and your desire to help springs out of that.

Susan E. Reed is the Managing Attorney of the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. She recently shared her thoughts on President Obama's Nov. 20, 2014, Executive Actions and what she hopes for in the coming months.

Meet Kate Flores & Lyssa Howley. Kate is the Executive Director of Voces, a Latino/Hispanic community-based organization in Battle Creek, Michigan. She is a wife and mother of two young children within a bilingual and bicultural household. Lyssa works as a project manager at BC Pulse in Battle Creek, Michigan and serves on the Board of Directors at Voces. Thank you both for creating strong, healthy, and equitable communities. Read their collaborative post on unaccompanied children.

In honor of World Refugee Day, we have a special guest blog from Theresa Q. Tran, Executive Director of Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote - Michigan. Here is her powerful and inspiring story: I grew up in a family that embodied the American Dream. But I knew very clearly, even at a young age, that my family was different. Both my parents spoke with accents that sounded much different than most other parents in our Waterford, MI neighborhood. They also kept to themselves but their personalities shone when we were with other Vietnamese families.


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Meet Jennie! She is an awesome leader and truly a welcoming ambassador. She manages a local TimeBank and shares our belief in the power of connecting neighbors to neighbors.

My name is Daliesha and I was born and raised in Detroit, MI. The maternal side of my family migrated from Bolivar, Tennessee. My maternal great granddad was African American and Native American (Cherokee).

Have you met Hanan Yahya, a member of the Welcoming Chadsey Condon group? She says "cultural competency is vital to creating a more vibrant and healthy community". Here is her story: "I was born the eighth child of nine in my hometown of Yemen.

Have you ever been to a naturalization ceremony? It is a very moving and inspiring experience. Sterling Heights recently held their 4th annual Naturalization Ceremony in conjunction with Sterlingfest.

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month - get to know your Asian Pacific American neighbors! Check out these local and national resources to learn more about the Asian Pacific American community and find local events happening near you.

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