Pastor John Lee leads discussion following the screening of Welcome to Shelbyville
The documentary “Welcome to Shelbyville” marked the official launch of the Welcoming Iowa project being implemented in communities across the state. The showings brought community members together for a chance to reflect on the welcoming model and discuss the importance of welcoming and how it fits within their community. Leaders from a cross section of each community attended and in some cases led the discussion afterward. Just under 250 people attended four showings in Marshalltown, Sioux Center, Sheldon and Orange City. Since then, we have received interest in more screenings in Iowa City, Waterloo and Red Oak!
The showing of “Welcome to Shelbyville” in Marshalltown was a great success! There were over 80 people who attended and many stayed afterward to participate in a discussion. Community members suggested reinstating Marshalltown’s “Welcome Wagon” program to welcome newcomers. There was also interest in doing an event similar to the “Unity Night” held in Shelbyville and featured in the documentary as a way for people to get to know one another and talk about what’s important to them in their community. Other suggestions included seeking to learn more about people who are coming to Marshalltown and finding a way to share stories.
If you are interested in joining the Welcoming Committee in Marshalltown, please come to the upcoming interest meeting: Thursday, May 10th at 5:30pm at the Marshalltown Public Library in Meeting Room B.
Many people in Marshalltown are excited about the welcoming initiative. We look forward to their future events!
This past week we visited our community partners in Marshalltown and Sioux Center. We were thrilled to meet with Immigrant Allies in Marshalltown and CASA of Sioux County in Sioux Center. Both groups are doing incredible work and we’re lucky to have the opportunity to collaborate with them. We also had the chance to speak with leaders in both communities about their views on immigration at the local level. All in all, it was a great trip and opportunity to get excited about our state-wide effort!
Look out for our state-wide Welcoming kick-off event in April of a free screening and discussion of Welcome to Shelbyville! More details to come soon.