SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio — Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in an unrelated story on Aug. 25, 2021.
Like many other communities across the nation, Summit County is kicking off its Welcoming Week on Friday to celebrate both new and long-term residents of America as well as refugees.
The recognition will run from Friday, Sept. 10, until Sunday, Sept. 19.
This event will be sponsored by Welcoming America, a domestic nonprofit organization that promotes inclusive communities. The theme this year is “Belonging Begins with Us.” They hope to touch on the language barriers and cultural differences that affect refugees and new Americans with this theme.
“We celebrate Welcoming Week as a way of bringing neighbors from different communities of the world together to build relationships and work together on shared goals right here in Summit County,” said County Executive Ilene Shapiro. “The welcoming of new residents is vital to our community, as they bring ideas, start businesses, serve in civic roles, work in critical conditions, and contribute to the spirited diversity in our community.”
Welcoming Week has been a yearly campaign and celebration since 2012. Throughout the years, Welcoming America has showcased the growing movement of many communities working to be a more welcoming community for everyone, including immigrants.
In 2015, former Summit County Executive Russ Pry and County Council passed a resolution that declared Summit County a welcoming community. Their goal since 2015 has been to create inclusive policies and practices to make refugees and immigrants welcome.
Current County Executive Shapiro has continued to live out that goal and advance it even further. Most recently, Shapiro’s staff has been working on helping Afghans seek refuge throughout the United States.
Anyone interested in supporting refugees can read the information from the International Institute of Akron’s site HERE.
Across the nation, events will be hosted in-person as well as through virtual options. A complete list of the events is available HERE.
Editor's note: Video in the player above originally aired in an unrelated Akron story on Aug. 19, 2021.