ANCHORAGE – September 14th to the 23rd marks Welcoming Week in our community a time to celebrate all who call Anchorage home. The Week is spearheaded by the Welcoming Anchorage initiative, a collaboration of the Municipality of Anchorage, the Anchorage School District, the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation and hundreds of Anchorage residents.
The celebration is part a nation-wide effort to raise awareness about the economic, cultural, and social benefits of a diverse community and bring together immigrants, refugees, and native-born residents. There are a series of activities scheduled throughout Anchorage, including a naturalization ceremony hosted by the Municipality and a community wide celebration at the Museum lawn featuring food, art, culture and fun.
The Week kicked off when Anchorage residents presented the Municipal Assembly with a Strategic Roadmap. The Roadmap is the product of a year’s worth of community meetings that culminated in developing an action-oriented strategic plan that sets a course to build our city into one where all residents are fully integrated into economic, cultural, and linguistic life.
When presenting the Welcoming Anchorage Strategic Roadmap to the Anchorage Assembly, First Lady Mara Kimmel said, “the Roadmap reflects the work of our diverse community, from Eagle River to Girdwood, to identify equity, inclusivity and justice as core values of our community. The Roadmap offers a variety of ideas and steps we can take to activate our diversity and live up to these values.”
Moira Gallagher, Director of Live, Work, Play for AEDC said, “Being a welcoming city is critical for our city's economic development. Just last week, we saw that one of the criteria for Amazon's selection of a new headquarters city is a "diverse population”, and they are hardly the only company emphasizing this. We must continue to welcome and foster people of all backgrounds in Anchorage if we are to attract the investment, large and small, that we need for our economic future.”
The Welcoming Anchorage initiative has five pillars:
- Employment and Entrepreneurship
- Civic Engagement
- Connected, Safe and Healthy Communities
- Equitable Access
To learn more about Welcoming Anchorage, or to get involved contact Welcoming Anchorage: WelcomingAnchorage@muni.org
Here is a sampling of some of the events:
- Thursday, September 14th 3:00pm-7:00pm: Fresh International Gardens (FIG): Fall Party and Urban Farm Ribbon Cutting at Mountain View Farmers Market, 3543 Mountain View Drive. FIG will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to promote Anchorage’s first Urban Farm and bringing more fresh, organically grown produce to Anchorage.
- Friday, September 15th 9:00am-6:00pm: Park(ing) Day/Welcoming Week Welcome Mat at City Hall, 632 W. 6th Avenue. Come meet local government officials and employees for a cup of tea in front of City Hall.
- Friday, September 15th 3:00pm-5:00pm: Linguistic Challenges and Cultural Congruence in Learning Chinese as a Second Language at the UAA Campus Bookstore, 2901 Spirit Way. Discussion about differences between Chinese and English and how languages create socio-cognitive processes in language socialization.
- Friday, September 15th 5:00pm-8:00pm: Artists Activate 7th Avenue Garage Pop-up at 7th and G Street Garage, 650 G Street. Artists and the Welcome Anchorage community liven up the basement of the 7th Avenue parking garage.
- Saturday, September 16th 1:00pm-3:00pm: Welcoming Week Civics Fair at the Loussac Library Atrium, 3600 Denali Street. Join Mayor Ethan Berkowitz in a discussion about civic duty, community engagement, and the Constitution.
- Saturday, September 16th 10:00am-12:00pm: 1st Annual Run/Walk for Recovery at Westchester Lagoon, 1824 W. 15th Avenue. Join the community in a Run/Walk to support those suffering from addiction.
- Tuesday, September 19th 5:00pm-7:00pm: WeChat – Culture and Functions in China at the UAA Campus Bookstore, 2901 Spirit Way.
- Wednesday, September 20th 12:00pm-2:00pm: Anchorage Welcoming Week Naturalization Ceremony at the Assembly Chambers located within Loussac Library, 3600 Denali Street. Join Anchorage’s First Lady Mara Kimmel, Assembly Chair Dick Traini, and Judge Timothy Burgess at the Naturalization Ceremony. A reception will be held in the atrium of the library immediately following the ceremony.
- Wednesday, September 20th 5:00pm-6:30pm: Anchorage Welcoming Week Consular Corps Reception at Wells Fargo Alaska Heritage Museum, 301 W. Northern Lights Blvd. Wells Fargo is hosting a reception for all diplomatic and consular personnel in Anchorage.
- Thursday, September 21st 11:00am-1:00pm: Alaska Literacy Program Welcoming Week Open House at 1345 Rudakof Circle #104. Tour the Alaska Literacy Program where English is being taught to over 400 adults and 25 families with young children.
- Friday, September 22nd 12:00pm-3:00pm: Welcoming Week Job Fair at Mt. View Community Library, 120 Bragaw Street. The Mountain View Library is hosting a Job Fair with Anchorage Community Land Trust and Anchorage Department of Labor. Please come with at least five (5) copies of your resume.
- Saturday, September 23rd 12:00pm-3:00pm: Anchorage Welcoming Week 2017 Celebration at the Anchorage Museum front lawn, 625 C Street. This event is an opportunity for Anchorage to celebrate another great Welcoming Week. This celebration, organized by Bridge Builders, will feature cultural song, dance, and spoken word.
For more information, contact Amy Coffman at (907) 343-7112.