County Executive Bellone Declares Welcoming Week in Suffolk County

Written by Long Island News & PR  |  20. September 2013

Hauppauge, NY - September 20th, 2013 -  Today, County Executive Bellone was joined by Long Island Wins representatives to declare Welcoming Week in Suffolk County.  The purpose of the week is promote mutual respect and cooperation between foreign-born and U.S. born Long Islanders.  This year marks the second year of Welcoming Week on the county and national level supporting the Welcoming America initiative which promotes meaningful connections and a spirit of unity between U.S. and foreign-born Americans by providing opportunities to learn about each other and work together for the greater good. 

“We are happy to partner with Long Island Wins to once again proclaim Welcoming Week in Suffolk County,” said County Executive Bellone.  “For too long Suffolk County was not seen as a welcoming and inclusive area for all.  We have worked hard to ensure all feel welcomed in the County.  Suffolk County is honored to participate in the activities planned for the week and I hope that by sharing our stories and experiences we help to build bridges between communities.”

Across the country, longtime residents and their new immigrant neighbors will join together during National Welcoming Week to take part in local community events, organized by Welcoming America’s affiliates and other national and local corporate partners, foundations, small businesses and residents of the community.

"We seek to create a space where we recognize that our diversity contributes to our cultural strength and our economic vitality,” stated Maryann Sinclair Slutsky, Executive Director, Long Island Wins.  “We’re working to make sure every Long Islander understands that immigrants come to Long Island from around the world to work hard and take care of their families, and we’re richer for it."

Hendel Leiva, Welcoming Long Island Organizer added, “Across the country, immigrants and U.S. born individuals are coming together during Welcoming Week to create stronger communities. They are achieving this goal through local events volunteerism, civic participation, and creative expression.”

Suffolk County Event in Celebration of Welcoming Week:

September 20, 2013
On Friday September 20, Welcoming Long Island, an initiative of Long Island Wins and First Person American present: What’s Your Story? A Welcoming Week Screening —a community event screening 9 short films that explore personal narratives from immigrants about the people who welcomed them and changed their lives forever. The Artspace Building, located in Patchogue, New York, will host the event.

With the Artspace Building serving as the family room, What’s Your Story? A Welcoming Week Screening will show the tremendous impact small acts of kindness had during several immigrants’ lives. The films were created as part of the Welcoming Stories pilot series and the Newcomers High School Welcoming Stories Workshop. What’s Your Story? A Welcoming Week Screening will include Yasmany’s story of discovering his American “swag,” Nika’s story about overcoming the difficulties of the American classroom, and Leila’s escaping an arranged marriage to pursue her own American dream. Attendees will also see how Newcomers High School students transformed from story tellers to activists in the short film Behind the Scenes of Newcomer High School Welcoming Stories.

Time: 6:00PM

Location: Artspace Building, 20 Terry Street, Patchogue, NY, 11772

About Long Island Wins
Long Island Wins is a nonprofit communications organization that focuses on immigration issues on Long Island and beyond. We promote commonsense immigration solutions that work for all Long Islanders and are rooted in respect and dignity. Welcoming Long Island, an initiative of Long Island Wins, works to promote mutual respect and cooperation between foreign-born and U.S.-born Long Islanders. The ultimate goal of Welcoming Long Island is to create a welcoming atmosphere - community by community - in which immigrants are more likely to integrate into the social fabric of their adopted hometown.

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