Gateways for Growth press release
National non-profit organizations American Immigration Council (recently merged with New American Economy) and Welcome America selected the Rural Women’s Health Project in Gainesville, Florida to receive the Technical Implementation Assistance and Grant Award in Round Four of the Gateways for the Growth Challenge (G4G). As part of the G4G Challenge, each of these communities conducted a year-long strategic planning process and brought together leaders from multiple sectors – including government, business, nonprofits, faith and culture. education – to create home plans. Each community will receive up to $20,000 to implement recommendations from their developed Welcoming Plans that prioritize building equity through language access initiatives, educational support for immigrant families and increased social cohesion. This year’s winners, alongside Gainesville, Florida, include:
- Columbus, Ohio
- Lancaster County, Nebraska
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Southwestern Kansas, Kansas
- St. Paul, Minnesota
These communities and organizations, as part of the Gateways for Growth Round IV cohort, have demonstrated their commitment to developing actionable strategies that ensure all residents have access to the tools and support they need to succeed and contribute to their communities. , and highlighted the contributions of immigrants already making locally. In fact, research from America’s New Economy shows that immigrants make up more than 11% of the city’s total population and 13% of its workforce, contributing more than $22 million in state and local taxes. . In 2019, about 14,800 immigrants lived in Gainesville, Florida, according to data from the US Census Bureau.
To ensure successful implementation, the American Immigration Council and Welcoming America will continue to mentor communities over the next six months, providing one-on-one technical assistance, cohort-wide calls, and resource referrals. .
The Rural Women’s Health Project, in collaboration with Gainesville Immigrant Neighbor Inclusion (GINI), will work to implement:
- Language Access Institutes. Working in conjunction with Language Access Florida, the GINI initiative intends to provide two series of free institutes, consisting of three meetings each. The goal of the Institute is to guide agencies, government, and social services in the development of a Language Access Plan (LAP), integrating phone line service into organizational workflow, promoting several language services and building a GINI Language Access Support System (LASS) for agencies new to this service to share best practices.
- Immigration cultural event day. GINI Partners and City of Gainesville Parks and Recreation have committed to collaborating on a major community event in 2022. Funds would be used as a partial investment in this event, which would help recognize and celebrate our immigrant neighbors .
- GINI Education Assemblies. The assemblies will build a bridge between the school system and immigrant parents to improve understanding of the education system and empower immigrant and refugee families to better understand their rights, school responsibilities, and guidelines for navigating their needs. Three assemblies will serve community members with children at K-12 Public School. Meetings will take place in churches, meeting spaces of cultural or other groups identified by the families of the GINI partners.
“After an extensive planning process, we are excited to continue working alongside these communities as they move to implement their strategic plans,” said Mo Kantner, director of state and local initiatives at the American Immigration Council. “We look forward to supporting the continued investment in their communities.”
“We are thrilled to be part of community efforts that take their values of welcoming to the next level,” said Molly Hilligoss, Network Director of Welcoming America. “By implementing welcoming plans, these communities prioritize the inclusion of all residents, including immigrants.
“Such a plan confirms the city and county’s efforts to support sustainable, innovative and thriving communities,” said Robin Lewy, co-lead of the GINI initiative. “We know this work will require tweaks, additions, monitoring, and most importantly, community support.”
On March 29, 2022, GINI was proud to release its Blueprint for Building an Inclusive and Welcoming Community. The plan outlines more than 70 steps the community can take to ensure immigrants feel safe, have equitable access to education, health and services, and feel included and respected in the new community. they call home. The plan can be found here: GINI March 2022 Immigrant Inclusion Blueprint
About Gateways to Growth
The Gateways for Growth Challenge (G4G) is a competitive opportunity for localities to receive research support and technical assistance from the American Immigration Council – formerly New American Economy – and Welcoming America to improve immigrant inclusion in their communities. Learn more: https://gatewaysforgrowth.org/