Olmsted County is proud to celebrate Welcoming Week once again. Welcoming Week is recognized on a national level September 10-19, 2021 and brings together people of all backgrounds to build strong connections and affirm the significance of inclusive spaces to our collective prosperity.
“It’s been a challenging year, and Welcoming Week is an opportunity for neighbors to reflect on what makes Olmsted County so special. We are a compassionate and caring community that shares a vision to welcome all new residents to all aspects of community life,” said Olmsted County Board of Commissioners Chair Stephanie Podulke.
On Tuesday, September 7, 2021, Commissioner Podulke will declare September 10-19, 2021 as "Welcoming Week: Welcoming Begins With Us" in Olmsted County.
“Olmsted County encourages businesses and other community institutions to find ways, beyond Welcoming Week, to make our region a safe and welcoming place for all who come here wherever they hail from,” said Olmsted County Commissioner Sheila Kiscaden. “Being a welcoming community truly does begin with each of us.”
Welcoming Week activities
Olmsted County residents are invited and encouraged to participate in the following activities to celebrate Welcoming Week.
Welcoming Begins with Us Celebration at 125 Live
- Date/Time: Sunday, September 12, 2021, 1-4 p.m.
- Location: 125 Elton Hills Dr. NW, Rochester, MN
- Details: Meet your neighbors and enjoy refreshments while learning more about the resources and opportunities available from the following organizations: Olmsted County, City of Rochester, 125 Live, Cradle to Career, Rochester Public Schools, Rochester Public Libraries, IMAA, Diversity Council, Workforce Development Inc., Olmsted County Human Rights Commission, Post Bulletin, Southeastern Minnesota Area Agency on Aging, Rochester Public Utilities, Early Childhood Northrop, Rochester Fire Department, Rochester Police Department, Hawthorne Education Center, Head Start / Families First of MN, Rochester Public Transit, Community Health Services, Pamoja, Olmsted County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, Homeless Community Network, Zumbro Valley Health Center, Three Rivers Community Action, LISTOS and more!
Gracious Hosting Training - *Virtual
- Date/Time: Monday, September 13, 9-10:30 a.m.
- Location: Zoom – Meeting registration
- Details: An engaging workshop about developing cultural inclusivity by exploring the tenets of gracious hosting as they apply to organizations and communities.
Belonging Begins with Us: Why and How of Welcoming New Neighbors - *Virtual
- Date/Time: Tuesday, September 14, 9-10:30 a.m.
- Location: Zoom – Meeting registration
- Details: Join SE MN Together as Laura Bordelon with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce shares findings from a report on the economic impact of immigrants in Minnesota, conducted by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Foundation with support from the McKnight Foundation. Katie Van Eijl from Project Fine will share highlights of initiatives underway in Winona and St. Charles to proactively welcome and engage newcomers, particularly immigrants.
Human Library at the Rochester Public Library
- Date/Time: Tuesday, September 14, 5-7 p.m.
- Location: 101 2nd St. SE, Rochester, MN
- Details: The Human Library of Southeastern Minnesota educates people using human experience, cultivating empathy in such a manner that differences, barriers, and prejudice fall away - we expose and nurture the spirit of humankind by building common understanding and connections.
Citizenship Day Celebration at the Olmsted County Government Center
- Date/Time: Friday, September 17, 2021, 4:30-6 p.m.
- Location: 151 4th St. SE, Rochester, MN (Board room)
- Details: Join Olmsted County and Rochester City Officials to celebrate Citizenship and Constitution Day and recognize those who have recently become naturalized citizens. Cake and coffee will be provided.
The Village’s FarmFest
- Date/Time: Saturday, September 18, 12-4 p.m.
- Location: The Village Community Garden, Rochester Covenant Church, 4950 31st Ave. NW, Rochester, MN
- Details: Join us for this year’s Food, Art, Recreation, and Music (FARM) Fest as we celebrate the 2021 harvest. Guests can enjoy a silent auction, a multicultural collaboration of artists, cooks, musicians, and more! See (and taste!) foods from all over the world, grown right here in Rochester at The Village Community Garden!
The Night Market at the Rochester Art Center
- Date/Time: Saturday, September 18, 5-9 p.m.
- Location: 40 Civic Center Dr. SE, Rochester, MN
- Details: Night Markets are a part of daily life and entertainment across Asia, and we're bringing it to Rochester! (Mayo Civic Center Riverfront Plaza + Rochester Art Center). Enjoy a night outdoors filled with food, boba tea, games, arts, handmade products, and fresh produce, with a strong emphasis on Asian and BIPOC vendors.
*Please Note: Olmsted County Public Health Services recommends attendees wear facial coverings for indoor and outdoor events, regardless of vaccination status, and maintain six feet of physical distancing.
Other ways to get involved
If you haven’t already starting building connections with newcomers whatever their backgrounds, Welcoming Week is a time to start.
If you’re particularly interested in meeting our communities’ new residents from other countries, there are local organizations to contact to learn more about how you can build connections with these individuals and families in our community such as the Diversity Council and the Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association (IMAA).