Clayton Kale

Fri, 08/04/2017 - 11:20

The YMCA of Greenville, as part of its work to become a YMCA Diversity, Inclusion & Global Center of Excellence is planning an international event to represent the great diversity in our community. Details are being hashed out, but we've settled on a date: Sept. 23 from 5-7 pm at the Caine Halter Family Y Spirit Center.  Mark your calendar for a great time. There will be great food, time to socialize with neighbors and network. 

At the Y, we believe communities are at their strongest when everyone feels valued, has support to reach their potential, and can fully participate in society. Did you know that there are more than 42 million foreign-born individuals living in the United States? That's more than at any other point in history. Welcoming Week is a national celebration of the growing movement of communities that fully embrace new Americans and their contributions to the social fabric of our country. Created by Welcoming America, Welcoming Week brings together immigrants and US-born residents to promote cross-cultural understanding and raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone. 

The Goals of Welcoming week are to:

  • Bring together newcomers and longstanding residents
  • Stand in solidarity with vulnerable communities
  • Help communities move beyond divisiveness and fragmentation. 

Welcoming Week is a great opportunity to demonstrate the Y's "For All" mission and build bridges between people from all backgrounds.

The Y's History of Serving Immigrants

Did you know the Y has a long history of helping immigrants integrate into their new neighborhoods and preparing receiving communities to be inclusive?

  • In 1856, the Y was the first organization in the United States to offer English as a second language classes to immigrants.
  • In the late 1800s, YMCA immigration secretaries greeted hundreds of thousands of new arrivals at Ellis Island and Angel Island, helping them locate family members, housing, and employment
  • In the early 1900s, the YMCA of Greater New York introduced adult night classes to new immigrants.
  • As the U.S. population moved westward, Ys provided affordable housing to immigrating and migrating communities.