Welcoming Week 2021 was celebrated September 10-19 in communities across the United States. People in Olmsted County took part in several virtual and in-person events that focused on embracing different cultures, being a gracious host, and recognizing the accomplishments of our newest citizens.
“I am so proud of the way our community came together to celebrate our neighbors and newcomers during Welcoming Week. We learned about each other’s cultures, and we shared information about the resources available in Olmsted County to ensure all who live here feel welcomed,” said Olmsted County Commissioner Sheila Kiscaden. “I encourage everyone to welcome newcomers to our communities and make it a more inclusive place to live, every day. It can be as simple as a warm greeting to a new neighbor or co-worker. Welcoming does begin with us.”
In partnership with several community organizations, Olmsted County employees Clara Sifuentes and Lisa Morris-Helmstetler helped organize the September 17, 2021 Citizenship Day Celebration at the Olmsted County Government Center. The event recognized approximately 20 of Olmsted County’s newest naturalized citizens.
“You could see the excitement on the faces of those being recognized and the faces of their family members,” said Sifuentes. “Several students from Hawthorne Education Center in Rochester, who became U.S. citizens within the last three years, were also recognized.”
“Participating in events, like the Citizenship Day Celebration, is just one way we can celebrate the hard work and contributions of people in our community,” said Morris-Helmstetler.
Welcoming Week also aligns with Olmsted County’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts called One Olmsted.
One Olmsted seeks to:
- Ensure an inclusive workforce environment to retain staff and support staff learning and development through awareness and education opportunities.
- Ensure Olmsted County services to residents are equitable, that barriers are reduced, and are provided in an environment that promotes inclusiveness.
- Increase the number of Olmsted County staff members who represent the community at large in diverse ways.
Save the date
Welcoming Week 2022 will take place from September 9-18. You can sign up to receive updates.