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Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for New Americans, Immigrants, and Refugees in West Michigan.
WELCOME PLAN UPDATES
Sylvia Nyamuhungu and Marcial Benavidez present WMWPC’s Strategic Plan 11/15/23 Lansing MI
WMWPC Shares Strategic Plan In OGM Convening
We happly shared our recent 2024 Strategic plan with all of Michigan’s Regional Community Collaboratives during The Office of Global Michigan’s Partner Convening: Aligning Partnerships to Make Michigan Welcoming and Inclusive Event held in Lansing. This two-day gathering helped OGM gauge its impact on its current initiatives and assess the effectiveness of their communication efforts. Click on the following for more information that was shared during the event:
WMWPC Resource Page
Our Welcome Plan Resource Page is still under construction, and we will continue to add resources as you share them with us. We will really appreciate your feedback and contributions of resources for our Refugee, Immigrant, and New American community in West Michigan. Click here to submit resources
Please share communications with Marcial Benavidez (email@example.com) any communications that you would like to include on Tuesdays by 9am to be shared on the Weekly Wednesday Communication.
Commission Takes on Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented
At their Oct. 23, 2023 meeting in Thompsonville, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission (MCRC) tackled a packed agenda, passing resolutions on driver’s licenses for undocumented individuals and concerns with Dynamic Character legislation that would require replacing the current accessible parking graphic. They also unanimously passed two motions to seek legal opinions on issues facing transgender and non-binary students.
Commissioner Gloria Lara introduced a proposed resolution encouraging responsible legislative and executive efforts supportive of providing residents access to drivers licenses regardless of undocumented status. Find the full resolution here.
EDUCATION AND RESOURCES
Welcome Sesame Webinar
Thursday December 7th 1:00pm
Sesame Workshop invites you to a webinar highlighting our domestic Welcome Sesame initiative, which expands our efforts to support families affected by conflict and crisis. We will discuss our current content offerings, including 2 new professional development courses, as well as dive into ways these resources can be implemented in your work with children and families.
SAN Community App
A platform designed to unite mentors and mentees, fostering a collaborative environment promoting higher education. Empowering students (mentees) to pose questions, complete with photos, to a diverse community of mentors.
If you would like to add your organization to our interactive map please read these informative slides or contact Felicien Sangwa at firstname.lastname@example.org
The federal government has launched the Bridge Access Program which provides free COVID-19 vaccines for uninsured adults and adults whose insurance doesn’t cover all COVID-19 vaccine costs. If you visit Vaccines.gov you will be able to search for participating vaccines sites by selecting Bridge Access Program.
The federal government restarted their free COVID-19 at-home test program. Each household can order 4 free COVID-19 tests. The website to order tests is live and can be found HERE. These tests will detect the currently circulating COVID-19 variants. People are encouraged to use the free tests immediately as Americans prepare for travel and gatherings with friends and family throughout the 2023 holiday season.
Check-out NRC-RIM’s translated COVID-19 resources and materials on boosters, waves, variants, and other general COVID-19 vaccine information useful. Customizable and translated into more than 40 languages, these are among their most popular resources to date.
In collaboration with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), NRC-RIM released Know Your Rights fact sheets in English, Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole. Aimed at Cubans, Haitians, and others from Latin America who are humanitarian parole recipients, the fact sheet explains eligibility for healthcare services, translation and interpretation, privacy concerns and more.
Click on Image for Informational Flyer!
Newcomer Rental Subsidy Program
*make sure to check out the recent NRS infosession slides Here
Affordable housing is a critical need for newly arriving refugees and for local community partners and sponsors who provide resettlement support. The subsidy program provides refugees and other newcomer population-eligible households with monthly rental assistance for up to 12 months to help families successfully integrate into communities, become self-sufficient and thrive.
Applications will soon be available in Arabic, Ukrainian, Dari, Pashto, Spanish and Kinyarwanda. We will give an update on these translations as soon they become available.
Contact LEO-RefugeeServices@michigan.gov for questions and support.
Click Here for more Information!
Apply Online Here
We are seeking to partner with Financial Institutions or Community Organizations that provide financial empowerment classes to connect recipients of the Newcomer Rental Subsidy Program with additional support. If you provide or are aware of this service, please fill out this form
GR Chamber + National Civics Bee
Tuesday April 16th Frederick Meijer Gardens
The application opens Wednesday November 13, 2023, and closes on Monday January 8, 2024.
The Grand Rapids Chamber is partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to host a civics competition that encourages young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities. Participating 6th, 7th and 8th graders will flex their civics knowledge for a chance to win recognition and cash prizes. Finalists will be invited to Washington, DC to compete in the inaugural National Civics Bee national championship in Fall 2024. More Information Here!
LES CLAY CHRISTMAS CONCERT
Saturday December 16th 6:00pm
1795 Knollcrest Circle Southeast, Grand Rapids MI 49546
Join us for a festive and soulful celebration at the Calvin University Gezon Auditorium! Immerse yourself in the captivating rhythms and melodies of Africa, as talented musicians and dancers take the stage to deliver an unforgettable Christmas experience.
Get your Tickets Here!
Nia na Njia Project
Are you interested in event production, fundraising, and networking?
Les Clay invites you to join the 2023 Nia Na Njia cohort. This fall’s focus is on putting on an amazing fundraising concert in December. We need YOU!
After signing up, you will receive an email about dates and times when the group meets. You will also receive information about the program, your involvement, and the program expectations.
THE PLAYGROUNDgr has two events coming up and is seeking sponsorship! Please see info and sponsorship opportunities for Healing Through Play and Play Around the World. Contact Jacqueline for more information: email@example.com
Healing through play Sponsorship
Play Around The World Sponsorship
THE PLAYGROUNDgr is a local nonprofit, who is committed to bridging the disparities of the racial, gender, culture, and socioeconomic gaps often found in caregivers/educational institutions and community based programing around the world of play. Play based support, therapy and awareness continues to be an evidenced tool that sharpens and supports, emotional health, mental health, trauma, grief and attachment. THE PLAYGROUNDgr is tasked with ensuring all members of our community have access to free or reduce rated play workshops, trainings, play based groups and play based therapy.
AAIPA Engagement Opportunities
The American Arab Intellectual Property Association is Looking for sponsors and partners for the 2024 Second Annual Inventors Challange and The Arab and Islamic Cultural Festival. Checkout the following links for sponsorship package information!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Give Back Applications Available Now!
Treetops Collective is giving all income received from monthly donors in the month of December 2023 to one New American-led business or organization in January 2024 in the form of a grant. The value of this grant will be at least $5,785. All eligible organizations may apply using the form below. Applications from ineligible businesses or organizations will not be reviewed.
Eligible Organizations: – Must be an existing business or nonprofit organization – Must be led by an individual or family that has immigrated to or been resettled in the U.S. – Must do business in Kent County – Have fewer than 15 full-time employees
We need your help to spread the word to local New American-owned businesses in your network about this funding opportunity. Please forward this email or the application link with the description above to anyone who you think might benefit from this grant.
Capacity Building and Outreach
Due Thursday December 21st 2023
The Office of Global Michigan is pleased to share a funding opportunity for the Capacity Building and Outreach Program, a project made possible through the advocacy efforts of the Funding for New Americans Coalition.
A virtual grant proposal info session will be held on Monday, November 27th 11:00am – 12:30pm; below you’ll find information on how to join this call. Please submit any questions regarding the content of this Request for Proposal (RFP) prior to this session by email to Leoemail@example.com.
This information and a downloadable copy of this Request for Proposal is also posted on our website: https://www.michigan.gov/ogm.
Want to Join the Collaborative?
Completion of this interest form will connect you with our coordinator to learn more about the Welcome Plan Collaborative and get connected to a workgoup.