Little Amal, a 12-foot puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl who has traveled across 13 countries and met more than a million people, is making a stop in Ferndale this Sunday as she travels 6,000 miles across the United States.
She began her journey from the Syrian border and carries a message of hope for immigrants, refugees and displaced people everywhere, especially children who have been separated from their families. Her urgent message is simple – “don’t forget us.”
As a member of Welcoming America, Oakland County is participating in a movement of inclusive communities around the United States that believe when everyone feels safe and that they belong, then the community is more prosperous.
Welcoming Oakland’s roadmap for the county includes participation in Resilience and Emergency Management for Inclusive Communities seminars; working to fill food security needs in immigrant communities; translation assistance; and connecting immigrants in need with much-needed services in the county.
The roadmap to a more inclusive, welcoming, and safe Oakland County with access and open doors for everyone is never far from our hearts.
Welcoming Week Celebrations
Welcoming Week is a time to bring together organizations, communities and neighbors of all backgrounds to build strong connections and affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places. Honor the vast array of cultures that make up the fabric of our communities by attending a local Welcoming Week celebration below:
While Welcoming Week was officially celebrated for 10 days this month, Sept. 9-18, we celebrate it all year long in Oakland County. Welcoming Oakland is an official county member of the Welcoming America network that brings together communities to reaffirm the importance of promoting inclusivity and celebrating the vast array of cultures that make our neighborhoods and towns so vibrant and exciting.
The theme of this year’s Welcoming Week celebration was #WhereWeBelong. All individuals throughout the county should understand that there is a place for them here.
In the last year or so, that’s been especially true for people fleeing the wars in Afghanistan and Ukraine. Through the Uniting for Ukraine initiative, more than 630 Oakland County residents have stepped up to sponsor and financially support families who have left Ukraine because of the war.
But Welcoming Week is about more than just helping resettle refugees. There are services, people, and organizations across Oakland County that are helping newcomers when they arrive in the state.
These navigators will work closely with Oakland County adults to help future and current students find their path to a meaningful career. Residents can meet individually with the navigators and create a road map to completing a post-secondary degree or credential. The navigators will also help with registration, college or training completion, financial aid and loan application, transferring records, and accessing academic supports and additional supportive services.