St. Louis And The International Institute of St. Louis Honored At The White House

By Maggie McCarthy
In Culture

As harsh judgement swirls around questions of immigration policy, the celebration of foreign populations in America seems to be more vital than ever before. Honest examination of St. Louis history alone reveals rich cultural growth prompted by the presence of various immigrant communities, from the Italian neighborhoods of South City to the Bosnian population in St. Louis County.

Photo courtesy of International Institute St. Louis.

Photo courtesy of International Institute of St. Louis.

On June 30th, the White House recognized St. Louis and more than 50 other US cities and counties for their innovative efforts to welcome and celebrate the presence of foreign residents. Embracing the value of diverse community, St. Louis’ efforts at inclusion have created a place where immigrants can thrive and make a home. These efforts have become increasingly necessary in an ever-changing global landscape, both politically and economically. The success of individual families and communities in St. Louis reminds us that welcoming arms always win over fearful skepticism.

The communities recognized at the White House form the Building Welcoming Communities Campaign. This partnership of The White House Task Force on New Americans, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Welcoming America encourages American citizens to participate in and promote local efforts toward immigrant integration in their cities. As part of this task force, local governments have been urged by US President Barack Obama to build inclusive atmospheres that encourage all residents to participate and pursue meaningful lives.

“It was an honor to receive the 2016 International Institute Award this week at its Annual Report to the Community,” said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. “We continue to work hard to welcome immigrants and refugees to St. Louis because they add to the fabric of our community; both economically and culturally.”

The International Institute’s efforts consistently led to healthier communities and individual lives. As innovators in the field of diversity, their work has contributed significantly to St. Louis’ groundbreaking achievements in integration. From their services in language training to employment resources, the institute ensures that newcomers in the St. Louis region find necessary resources and support. Through tireless service, their continued support of the marginalized has enabled valuable contribution and growth in our city.

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