Mission Welcoming Iowa is a grassroots effort committed to creating a more welcoming atmosphere in Iowa’s communities by promoting mutual respect and cooperation between foreign born and U.S. born residents.

The ultimate goal of Welcoming Iowa is to create an atmosphere— community by community—in which immigrants are more likely to integrate into the social fabric of their new hometowns.

With Change Comes Opportunity

As immigration grows across Iowa, many cities and towns are struggling to adapt to the accompanying social, cultural and economic changes. These rapid changes can result in disconnection and misunderstandings among neighbors. Welcoming Iowa helps communities meet these challenges by helping to strengthen relationships between foreign-born and U.S. born residents.

Traditional methods of immigrant integration have had limited success as they focus solely on the newcomer. Welcoming Iowa uses a completely new approach to immigrant integration, which focuses on addressing the fears and concerns that native-born Americans often associate with immigrant growth. The Welcoming approach aims to reduce anxiety in the receiving community through a process of education and facilitated dialogue with new immigrant neighbors—so that receiving communities become the welcoming communities needed to help immigrants step out of their comfort zones, and into the broader society.

Who do we need?

The Welcoming Iowa model works with individuals from diverse sectors of the community – business, faith, nonprofit, local government and education. It engages mainstream Americans who otherwise do not have ways to be actively involved in integrating newcomers into their communities.

Help Make Our Communities Stronger!

People have a greater likelihood of succeeding and contributing to their communities if they feel welcome, and families and communities are stronger when they are united. Welcoming Iowa is proud to carry on the traditions of hospitality and friendliness that are hallmarks of America’s heartland.

Iowa is a place of opportunity for those seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Our communities are strongest when everyone living in them feels welcome.

Welcoming Iowa is a project of the Iowa Immigration Education Coalition

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