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One year into the city’s membership with Welcoming America, a movement of inclusive communities, initial activities are taking shape.
The organization creates “a nation of neighbors” – a network of communities that are committed to making everyone feel like they belong, believing that all people, including immigrants, are valued contributors to and vital to the success of their communities.
The City Commission in April 2016 approved a resolution to affirm Battle Creek as a Welcoming City, recognizing that inclusion of all members of the community is essential to meeting the city’s mission of ensuring a safe, prosperous, and culturally enriched community.
Communities, including Battle Creek, envision opportunities for all people to reach their greatest potential. They recognize people’s unique backgrounds, perspectives and talents, as well as the benefits to engaging these qualities in all of our residents.
One step the city will take is creation of a Welcoming Battle Creek subcommittee to the Human Relations Board, which will have majority immigrant membership to advise city staff, and provide a means of connection between our immigrant communities and staff. The HRB works to increase constructive communication between community members, and promote relationships and equitable access to resources across the community.
Another is Welcoming America Coordinator and Assistant to the City Manager Jacob Schacht, who will head to Atlanta this week for the Welcoming Interactive conference. The in-depth workshops, panels, and other opportunities will help guide Battle Creek efforts on issues like adult education and innovations in citizenship.
The city thanks Welcoming America for its support, via a travel scholarship to this year’s conference, and officials look forward to the well-informed work to come, as we look to make our community a better place to live, work and play.