On an unusually warm day in October, four Welcoming America staff traveled from their respective offices in DC, Atlanta, and Denver to Detroit for the National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC.) The NIIC is the largest national conference centered on immigrant integration and like the Welcoming Interactive, it moves locations each year. Each staffer had a different role at the conference and shared their reflections here.
By Timothy Walden
Tell us about your experience at the NIIC.
NIIC brings together an incredible array of leaders across the nation who are working on many different aspects of advancing immigrant integration and inclusion. This year was particularly special because it was hosted in Detroit, home to many long-time leaders in the welcoming movement. Seeing advocates, policymakers, service providers, researchers, and so many other partners coming together to grapple with today’s deep challenges, advance new ideas, and find inspiration from each other was powerful. One of my favorite activities was the reception Welcoming America hosted with New American Economy. This annual event is a great way to reconnect with members, national partners, and friends in a fun environment. – Susan Downs-Karkos, Senior Director of External Affairs
What makes the NIIC a special, or important , conference in our line of work?
The NIIC offers Welcoming America members and partners an important platform to showcase their immigrant inclusion efforts and it was inspiring to see Welcoming Michigan Global Detroit, the State of Michigan and the 14 local member municipalities in Michigan recognized for their achievements and contributions to making Michigan a place where everyone can thrive and belong. – Rachel Peric, Executive Director