Welcoming Salt Lake Week celebrates immigrants and refugees

“Welcoming Salt Lake Week” continues this week until September 25, encouraging Utah residents to support the city’s diverse population. The campaign, supported by Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County and Chamber, brings attention to the cultural, social and economic contributions of new Americans. This year, Salt Lake residents are encouraged to participate in the “7 Days, 7 Ways” challenge by doing volunteer work, attending cultural events and reading and discussing about the experiences of refugees and immigrants.

“The 7 Days, 7 Ways challenge is one way to recognize the values and contributions of our newest residents, and there are many more,” said Fatima Dire, Refugee Community Liaison with the Salt Lake City Office of Diversity and Human Rights. “Our community is well-known for its welcoming spirit and for embracing diversity. It’s a source of community strength.”

“Serve Refugees,” another effort by the Salt Lake City Office of Diversity and Human Rights, is a free smart-phone app, which provides information to users on ways to get involved in refugee assistance. The “Know Your Neighbor” volunteer program is another opportunity supported by Salt Lake City that connects a refugee family to a strong contact in the community. The program has connected over 45 volunteers with refugee families, who help them integrate into the Utah community. The next orientation for “Know Your Neighbor” will be Thursday, October 6 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Salt Lake City and Country Building, Room 306. If interested, send a RSVP to Fatima Dire at fatima.dire@slcgov.com.

Census and resettlement organization data says that over 60,000 refugees now live in Utah, with most residing in Salt Lake County. Each year about 1,100 new refugees seek safety in the state of Utah.

For more information on Salt Lake City Office of Diversity and Human Rights programs click here.

-Brieanna Olds

Salt Lake Magazine
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