GF Immigrant Integration


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Immigration Integration Header copy 

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”.


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Immigrant Integration recognition 10-2-14_Page_1 

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.



Dilli at State of City - cropped 

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:

  1. To promote naturalization and civic engagement among immigrant populations in our communities.
  2. To assess and align community resources to best serve both the New American population and general community.
  3. To assist New Americans with becoming engaged citizens by being prepared to capitalize on opportunities for productive employment, meaningful education, strong family support and positive community and social interactions. 

    Asylum Claims
    Graph from UN Refugee Agency, Asylum Trends, First half 2014 


Steering Committee - Individual and Community Partners

Chair - Bret Weber
City Elected Official
Grand Forks County Elected Official
Police Department
Grand Forks Public Schools
United Way
Global Friends Coalition (Link)
New American Services (LSS) (Link)
Public Health
County Social Services
Economic Development Corporation 

University of North Dakota
Altru Health System
GF Housing Authority
Banking Institutions
Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC)
East Grand Forks
Northland Community Technical College
African Community Partners
Job Service
GF Air Force Base
Immigrant and Refugee Citizens




Speakers Bureau

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:
Lois Folkers
Grand Forks Mayor's Office

GF Immirant Integration Initiative Notes 8-21-2014_Page_1
Meeting Notes
Grand Forks Immigration Integration
Steering Committee 8/21/14

04/01/2015 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM April 1, 2015 Youth Commission Agenda April 1, 2015 Youth Commission Agenda
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