Just over 4 percent of Ohioans were born in another country, with 3.7 percent of Lucas County’s population representing foreign-born residents. While well below the U.S. share of 13.2 percent, the greater Toledo area demonstrates a growing population of immigrants.
In Bowling Green, the share of foreign-born residents represents 5 percent. In Perrysburg, 4.7 percent. In Sylvania, 4.2 percent. And in Toledo— the percent of foreign-born Toledoans grew from 2.8 percent to 3.7 percent between 2000 and 2014.
To our new neighbors, we say: “أهلا وسهلا,” “bienvenido,” “欢迎,” and “welcome.”
A week of celebration
To show hospitality, Welcome Toledo-Lucas County, a collaboration of community partners housed in the Board of Lucas County Commissioners in partnership with Toledo LISC, has partnered with national nonprofit Welcoming America to host National Welcoming Week, from September 14 through 23.
This weeklong celebration of immigrants, their impact, and the importance of an inclusive community spotlights cultural diversity by bringing immigrants, refugees and native-born residents together.
“Welcoming Week is important because it gives Welcome TLC, and our many partners in the community, a chance to reaffirm and declare that this is a welcoming community,” said Brittany Ford, Welcome Toledo-Lucas County Co-Lead and Lucas County Policy Analyst.
Last year, over 700 events took place around the country during Welcoming Week, raising awareness of the benefits of being a welcoming community and highlighting the advantages of diversity and inclusion.
This year, The Olander Park System, Women of Toledo, Welcome TLC, and other Toledo-based organizations and partners have joined together to host a community picnic to celebrate Welcoming Week on Saturday, September 22. Join your neighbors in the spirit of unity over traditional dishes. Bring something to share, if you can. For more details, visit the Facebook event.
For more Welcoming Week events, visit welcomingamerica.org
To volunteer or connect with partnering groups, contact Brittany Ford via the Welcome Toledo-Lucas County Facebook page or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.