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Celebrating Welcoming Week at the Library

Celebrating Welcoming Week at the Library

It is Welcoming Week in Cedar Rapids, part of a nation-wide initiative to create inclusive and welcoming communities.

Cedar Rapids started marking this week in 2018, when the City and partners including the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, the Catherine McAuley Center, the Intercultural Center of Iowa, and YPN applied to participate in the Gateways for Growth program. 

The effort, organized nationally by Welcoming America, aims to “bring together immigrants, refugees, and long-time residents to build strong connections and affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity,” according to welcomingamerica.org.

Welcoming Week is Sept. 10-19 this year, with the theme #BelongingBeginsWithUs. Here at the Library, two programs are part of the celebration: a Hands of Friendship take-home craft and Community Eats, which will feature a virtual presentation at 2 pm Saturday by two local restaurants, Tee’s Liberian Dish and Pinoy Cafe. Owners from both restaurants will demonstrate a recipe and share a story about the food important to them. People can tune in to the Library’s Facebook or YouTube pages to view the programs at any time after they air.

The Downtown Library is also hosting a portion of the “Welcoming Wings” art installation. Seven four-foot tall wings, representing different cultural backgrounds, will be located around the city, with one pair in the Library Commons.

Residents are encouraged to visit the Welcoming Wings and post pictures on social media with #WelcomingCR. The wings can be found from September 10-17 at the Library, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, and the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. All the wings will also be on display at the Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market on September 18.

Welcoming residents of all backgrounds is part of the mission of the Library, which maintains a database of welcoming resources on our website at CRLibrary.org/welcome-resources/, with information about local organizations and nonprofits that can assist residents with everything from mental health to accessing food.

More information on Welcoming Week, including local immigrant stories, videos and other special events can be found at www.welcomingweekcr.com.

Other events throughout the week include:

Sunday, September 12
9 am-5 pm   Festival Latino

Monday, September 13
1-2 pm.   Cultural Humility Webinar 
Hosted by Catherine McAuley Center
5-7 pm   Inclusive ICR Welcoming Social

Tuesday, September 14
Noon – 1 pm   English Language Variations Webinar
Hosted by Catherine McAuley Center

Wednesday, September 15
4:30-5:30 pm   Farsi Simulation at Catherine McAuley Center
Hosted by Catherine McAuley Center

Thursday, September 16
Noon-1 pm   Strengths-Based Learning Webinar
Hosted by Catherine McAuley Center

Friday, September 17
Noon-1 pm   Path to Citizenship Webinar
Hosted by Catherine McAuley Center
6:30 pm   BrewNost at National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

Saturday, September 18
Noon-4 pm   7th Annual AsianFest

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