Please take some time to read through these recommendations that were compiled by more than 60 individuals, representing more than 30 organizations and individuals who made up the four workgroups:
1. Access to Basic Services 2. Advancement Opportunities 3. Economic Opportunities 4. Connected Communities
Further background on the extensive Welcoming Community Roadmap process:
SURVEY: The Welcoming Community Roadmap survey has closed, as of May 4, 2018.
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!
City of Grand Forks receives technical assistance grant from Welcoming America and Partnership for a New American Economy to help develop a strategic plan to leverage existing strengths and build an even more robust and integrated welcoming community.
The Welcoming Community Roadmap project is part of a continued effort by the city of Grand Forks to find ways to welcome all new residents and better integrate immigrants and refugees as part of the community. The integration initiatives being investigated in this project are adopted from the key focus areas of the Welcoming America program, Gateways for Growth.
The project will be carried out by gathering a demographic report and conducting surveys and focus group discussions with members of immigrants/refugees and other residents in the community. The data gathered will be carefully analyzed and presented in a final report of the project findings. The project final report will become a basis for developing strategic action plans, in concert with city elected and administrative leadership and community leaders to make the Grand Forks area the most welcoming community possible.
What is the goal of GFIII Welcoming Community Roadmap Initiative and what steps are involved?
We aim to develop a roadmap to make the Grand Forks area an even more welcoming community in which all residents are engaged. Through demographic research, surveys, focus groups, and community discussion, our community will craft a plan to help Grand Forks feel like home to newcomers and long-term residents alike.
Why are you doing these surveys and focus groups?
We are asking the community to share their feedback so our community plan reflects the experiences of all our residents. The surveys and focus groups will inform recommendations for policies, programs, and practices that will allow all residents to access services and participate civically.
Who will be participating in the survey?
All members of the Grand Forks community are encouraged to participate in the survey.
How long will the survey be open?
They will be open until May 4.
What happens after the survey?
There will be focus groups to dive deeper into specific topics, draft recommendations developed by workgroups, public discussions held on the draft recommendations and then final recommendations for the Welcoming Community Roadmap expected to be presented in September 2018.
Who will be participating in the focus groups?
We will invite select groups of newcomers as well as long-term residents of the Grand Forks community, primarily based on the preliminary information that comes from the surveys. The focus groups allow us to dig deeper on specific questions.
Where can I locate findings from the demographic report, survey, and focus group?
All reports related to the Welcoming Community Roadmap will be publicly accessible and posted to www.grandforksgov.com/gfiii.
Who is leading this and funding it?
The City’s Grand Forks Immigrant Integration Initiative is leading and it is being administered by volunteers and staff from the Mayor’s Office. While there is no funding allocated, the City is receiving technical assistance and support from Gateways for Growth.
Where did the demographic results come from?
The demographic report, New Americans in the Grand Forks Region, Grand Forks being one of 44 communities selected for the Gateways for Growth Challenge, a competitive opportunity for local communities to receive technical assistance from New American Economy and Welcoming America to develop multi-sector plans for welcoming and integrating immigrants. The research focused on demographics and the economic impacts of immigrants in our community and is available on www.grandforksgov.com/gfiii .
Data Driven Approach
A good place to start is a firm foundation of data on immigration and resettlement in the area. Welcoming America and New American Economy have collaborated to research the impact of immigration in the Grand Forks area (report, below).
This is a starting point as the community begins listening sessions, surveys and focus groups to identify key tactics in enhancing the capabilities and reputation of Grand Forks as a Welcoming Community.
Strategic Plan Timeline (Proposed)
Dec, 2017 – Feb, 2018 Data analysis (New American Economy)
Jan 2018 Steering Committee Established
Feb 2018 Data Report Completed and Shared
Feb – Mar, 2018 Steering Committee Strategy Development
Apr – May, 2018 Focus groups, surveys, listening sessions
May - Jun, 2018 Analyze Data and formulate Working Group Categories
Jul – Aug 15, 2018 Working Groups develop draft recommendations
Aug, 2018 Draft Welcoming Community Plan Recommendations Reviewed
Aug – Sep, 2018 Community feedback on Draft Plan
Sep 8, 2018 Final Plan Adoption and Launch at Community Picnic
The City of Grand Forks is the proud home to many new immigrants and refugees who come to our great city to begin new lives, families and opportunities. Together, our existing and new residents create the tapestry that help define our community, and together we create a “Welcoming Grand Forks”.
Grand Forks Immigrant Integration
The Grand Forks Immigrant Integration was established by the City of Grand Forks Mayor’s Office and City Council with a steering committee of members from throughout the broad greater Grand Forks area.
The Initiative was a Member of the National League of Cities Municipal Action for Immigrant Integration.
The goal of Grand Forks Immigrant Integration Initiative is to promote naturalization and civic engagement among immigrant populations in our communities, to assess and align community resources to best serve both the New American population and general community, and to assist New Americans with becoming engaged citizens.
Other GFIII Efforts include:
- Partnered efforts and leveraged resources with community organizations including Global Friends Coalition, New American Services of Lutheran Social Services of ND.
- Citizen's Academy to help promote informed and involved citizenship.
- Speaker’s Bureau to enhance community awareness on general and specific immigrant and refugee related.
- A Community Resource Officer from the Grand Forks Police Department designated as a direct liaison with immigrant populations.
- Citizenship and naturalization campaign.
- Agency communication and coordination.
- Immigrant training opportunities.
- Ongoing communication and evaluation of community capacities to achieve the GFIII goals.
2017 World Refugee Day
|Welcome to the United States of America, and welcome to Grand Forks, your new home! - Text of City Council Member Remarks|
|White House Task Force on New Americans Award 2016||Grand Forks was awarded a White House task Force on New Americans - Building Welcoming Communities - campaign award for its 'dedication and commitment to the principles of the Building Welcoming Communities Campaign, . . ."|
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs & the American Immigration Council published a report praising Grand Forks for our Immigration Integration efforts. Check out this news release for more information.
Thanks to the leadership of Grand Forks Public Health and the partnership of several local organizations, there is now a list of available interpreters for various languages and purposes.
Pictured from left: Goma Oli, Mayor Michael R. Brown, Dilli Oli at the 2014 State of the City Address
According to Dilli Oli, who came to Grand Forks in 2008 after having lived in a refugee camp in Nepal for almost twenty years, the Civics Academy that he participated in through Global Friends Coalition in 2011 was a big help. He said he "got a chance to learn more things about the community, for example, the role of the police and the fire department." He also learned about public library services, other social services available in Grand Forks, how to find a job, buy a house, and information about City Council. It helped him know "how to connect to the people of Grand Forks." Dilli said it was like getting "wheels on a car. If a car has no wheels, it can't run. I felt like I gained wheels."
Grand Forks Immigration Integration Initiative
The city has established the Grand Forks Immigrant Integration Initiative as a collaborative, cross-sectional body with three goals:
Steering Committee - Individual and Community Partners
Co-Chair - Robin David, Global Friends/UND Honors
Grand Forks County Elected Official
University of North Dakota
The GFIII Speakers Bureau Program will provide access to speakers knowledgeable about refugees and immigration. The GFIII seeks to enhance community awareness and understanding of refugees and immigrants. The Speakers Bureau will foster and open community conversation on "Refugees, Immigrants and Grand Forks" and encourage the community to be welcoming to all people and embrace a common idea of a "Welcoming Grand Forks."
To Schedule Your Presentation Contact:
Grand Forks Mayor's Office
Feb 15, 2018 Agenda
|Growth Fund Committee||01/22/2019 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM||1-22-19 agenda|
|City Council||01/22/2019 5:30 PM||AG CC 20190122|
|Grand Forks Events Center Commission||01/23/2019 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM||AG GFECC 20190123|
|Legislative Committee||01/25/2019 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM||Not Included|
|Special Assessment Commission Meeting||01/28/2019 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM||AG SAC 20190128|
|Committee of the Whole||01/28/2019 5:30 PM||Not Included|
|AWR-219 Site Protection through Observational Techniques||01/30/2019 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM||Not Included|
|Legislative Committee||02/01/2019 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM||Not Included|
|City Council||02/04/2019 5:30 PM||Not Included|
|Planning & Zoning Commission||02/06/2019 5:30 PM||Not Included|
|EM Board Meeting||02/07/2019 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM||Not Included|
|LEPC Meeting||02/07/2019 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM||Not Included|
|Legislative Committee||02/08/2019 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM||Not Included|
|Committee of the Whole||02/11/2019 5:30 PM||Not Included|
|Events Center Commission-Finance/Renovation Committee||02/13/2019 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM||Not Included|
|Advanced CERT Training||02/14/2019 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM||Not Included|
|Legislative Committee||02/15/2019 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM||Not Included|
|City Council||02/19/2019 5:30 PM||Not Included|
|Legislative Committee||02/22/2019 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM||Not Included|
|Committee of the Whole||02/25/2019 5:30 PM||Not Included|