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Building Bridges: Tips for Becoming a Certified Welcoming City

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As a Philly-based language solutions provider, we're proud to have helped the City of Philadelphia  receive a Certified Welcoming designation. Here's how your city can work toward achieving the same.

If you aren't familiar with the concept of a Certified Welcoming City, it's an exciting initiative that embodies the values of inclusion and diversity, aiming to create communities where immigrants are not just welcomed but also actively supported in all aspects of life. Let's explore how cities can work towards becoming a Certified Welcoming City, with a special focus on the crucial role that language services play in this journey.


Certified Welcoming is a formal designation for cities and counties that have created policies and programs reflecting their values and commitment to immigrant inclusion. This innovative program assesses city and county governments on their efforts to include and welcome immigrants in all areas of civic, social, and economic life in their communities.

- Welcoming America

Embracing Diversity

Certified Welcoming Cities are a beacon of hope in a world that is becoming increasingly diverse. They prioritize the inclusion of immigrants in their communities, recognizing the immense contributions they make to the cultural, social, and economic fabric of the city. So, how can cities embark on this transformative journey?

Building a Strong Foundation

The first step towards becoming a Certified Welcoming City is to build a strong foundation based on core principles. These principles revolve around ensuring that all residents, regardless of their background, have equal access to opportunities and resources. It's about fostering a sense of belonging and promoting civic engagement among immigrants.

Language Services: The Cornerstone

Now, let's delve into the pivotal role of language services in this process. Language is the bridge that connects people from diverse backgrounds. To truly include immigrants, cities must provide effective language services that break down barriers to communication.

1. Multilingual Services

One of the most visible ways to support immigrant inclusion is by offering multilingual services. This includes translating key documents and providing interpreters for essential interactions such as medical appointments, government meetings, and educational programs. Ensuring that immigrants can access vital information in their native languages is a significant step towards their integration.

2. Language Classes

Offering language classes is another vital component of a Certified Welcoming City. By providing free or affordable language courses, cities empower immigrants to improve their language skills, which, in turn, enhances their employability and social integration.

3. Cultural Exchange

Cultural exchange programs can further strengthen the bonds between immigrants and the host community. Organizing events that celebrate different cultures not only fosters understanding but also creates a sense of unity. These events can serve as a platform for immigrants to share their traditions and stories with the broader community.

Policy and Leadership

Certified Welcoming Cities are characterized by their commitment to policies that promote immigrant inclusion. City leaders play a crucial role in championing these policies and ensuring they are implemented effectively. This includes advocating for equitable access to housing, education, healthcare, and job opportunities.

Community Engagement

To truly become a Certified Welcoming City, active community engagement is essential. Cities can encourage immigrants to participate in decision-making processes, whether through advisory councils or community forums. By giving immigrants a voice, cities can create policies and programs that reflect their needs and aspirations.

Measuring Progress

Certified Welcoming Cities aren't just about good intentions; they're about concrete results. Regularly measuring progress and assessing the impact of policies and programs is vital. This data-driven approach allows cities to identify areas where they are excelling and areas where improvement is needed.

Celebrating Success Stories

Becoming a Certified Welcoming City is a journey worth celebrating. Highlighting success stories of immigrant integration can inspire both residents and leaders to continue their efforts. These stories showcase the resilience and contributions of immigrants, reinforcing the city's commitment to inclusion.

The Future is Empathic

Becoming a Certified Welcoming City is a noble goal that reflects a commitment to the values of diversity, inclusion, and equity. While it's a challenging journey, the rewards are immense. By focusing on core principles, offering language services, implementing inclusive policies, engaging the community, and measuring progress, cities can work towards this prestigious designation. In this journey, language services emerge as a cornerstone, bridging the communication gap and paving the way for a more inclusive and harmonious future. Let's build bridges, celebrate diversity, and create cities where everyone can thrive.


Want to learn more about how GLOBO can help support your city's diverse populations? Contact us today.

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