The City of Bloomington is proud to participate in National Welcoming Week this September 9 – 18, 2022. Each year, Welcoming Week is a time when a chorus of people from around the world—in communities large and small, rural and urban—celebrate the benefits of an inclusive society and deepen their commitment to creating places that are welcoming to everyone, including immigrants and refugees. In celebration of Welcoming Week, the City of Bloomington Office of Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging is sharing a few strategies for building inclusive neighborhoods and trusting relationships. As you reflect on the strategies consider what things you would like to add to the list and share them with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or social media using the hashtag #COBWelcomeWeek2022.
Say hello. The first one is easy and only requires a smile. Greeting your neighbors is a great way to build relationships, remember a simple “hello” or “how are you” goes a long way.
Value diversity. It is important to keep an open mind, reserve judgment and practice the skill of deep listening. Spend time working to understand other people and perspectives.
Share a meal. Sharing meals is a starting point to help build and foster relationships throughout the community. The City of Bloomington facilitates welcome meal events to cultivate a feeling of community and belonging. If you have interest in hosting, attending or donating towards a Welcome Meal, please contact the City’s Outreach and Engagement Division at outreach@BloomingtonMN.gov or 952-563-8733.
Participate in activities that connect you with your neighbors. Sports, arts and music are just some of the activities that historically bring people together across differences. Similarly, community events are entertaining ways to meet many other members of your community at once. The City of Bloomington Cultural Arts Center and Parks and Recreation Department host several indoor and outdoor activities. Visit blm.mn/events for information about upcoming events.
Stand in solidarity. Unfortunately, people may be targeted with harassment because of their identity, including race, sex, religion, color, gender, size, orientation, disability, age or origin. Such behavior is demoralizing, isolating and it contradicts efforts to build strong and safe communities. In inclusive and welcoming communities’ neighbors refuse to be bystanders. They report harassment and support those who are being harassed.