Welcoming Week 2020 saw the area struggling with its sixth month of the COVID-19 pandemic. It had been a tough year for many. The quarantine was ongoing. Political strife was making headlines. And this was exactly why it was more important than ever that we overcome divisions and celebrate how immigrants and refugees make our society stronger.
We’ll update our website (below) to tell you more about what happened shortly – but in the meantime you can complete your Pick Two (OR MORE) activities any time before November 1! In the meantime, many thanks to our Welcoming Week 2020 Steering Committee, which included Hans Abruzzi, Caroline Beloe, Art Binkowski, Paul Boesen, Christine Buchholz, Laura Chaves, Shaun Cohen, Surekha Cohen, Ann Conanan, Swati Ghosh, Joan Hurst, Kevin Hurst, Hannah Jordan, Steve Mostow, Sonia Ruiz-Bolanos, Liv Scappa, and Krasi Shtiliyanova!
We hope that you can participate in one or more activities during Welcoming Week 2020. We invite you to learn, listen, and serve, together with others in the community.
Download a schedule of events here (perfect for posting on your refrigerator!). We invite you to PICK TWO (or more) activities, complete and mark your schedule (one 'learn' and one 'listen' or 'serve', to encourage us all to take action!). Please note: links in the schedule will be live on your screen (but not on your refrigerator, of course), so you may want to save a digital copy of the schedule as well. Then fill in your name, address, and the date, take a photo of your schedule, and email it to us. We'll send you Welcoming Falls Church stickers, as well as a coupon book with coupons from area merchants that support the welcoming movement--and you'll be a welcomer!
We encourage you to learn about our community service partners--CASA, Comunidad, and Spend Yourself Food Pantry. Serve with them. Explore the opportunity to help a refugee family settle in the area, in a program administered by the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Join what we hope is a huge community food drive! And consider our Listen First, Weaving Community dialogues, a way to get to know your neighbors and listen to others' views about immigration, ethnicity, and race.
To sign up for activities, see the registration section below the schedule, select the activity you wish to join, select "ticket", indicate how many people are joining, click "view selections", and "book now" and enter your contact information.
Please email us to let us know if you'd like to join our team to help with these and other initiatives to bring our community together.
Thank you for your interest in Welcoming Week 2020. We look forward to meeting you!
We had a great Welcoming Week in September 2019! We started with our First Annual Welcoming Week Ice Cream Party (co-sponsored by Little City Creamery) at Falls Church’s new, downtown park, and continued with no fewer than 11 events and activities here in Falls Church.
Our big event was one to remember: Imbolo Mbue, acclaimed author of Behold the Dreamers, helped us kick off Welcoming Week in Falls Church, speaking about "Immigration and the American Dream" to over 180 at George Mason High School and 75 at the Tysons-Pimmitt Hill Regional Library. See here for the final program from Ms. Mbue’s talk at GMHS. Ms. Mbue, who has Falls Church ties, also met with teachers from Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School and GMHS, and video clips from her talk were shown to all GMHS students, with discussion led by teachers, the following week.
For a full rundown of Welcoming Week 2019 activities, see here. And thank you to our Welcoming Week 2019 Steering Committee, which includes Caroline Beloe, Art Binkowski, Paul Boesen, Christine Buchholz, Ryan Buchholz, Lucy Amina Chaves, Laura Chaves (who also designed our logo!), Ann Conanan, Linda Doornbusch, Hannah Jordan, Sonia Ruiz-Bolanos, Mike Sakata.
Thank you as well to our Welcoming Week 2019 Community Partners the Falls Church City Schools, Falls Church Education Foundation, Mary Riley Styles Library, Tysons-Pimmit Library, One More Page Books, PTSAs, The Social Justice Committee of Falls Church and Vicinity, the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, and Lil City Creamery to make Welcoming Week 2019 a success!
Finally, many thanks to the Falls Church City Council, which recognized us again with an enthusiastic proclamation in honor of the community’s commitment – see what the Council had to say, for some encouraging words.
For our first Welcoming Week last fall, the Falls Church City Council honored Welcoming Week with a proclamation support of Welcoming Falls Church. We then participated in four awareness-building events, at the Falls Church Fall Festival (see photos), the Falls Church Education Foundation’s Run for the Schools (see more photos!), the Falls Church Elemetary PTA’s Ice Cream Social and Info Fair, and the Willston Multicultural Center’s Fall Festival.
Thank you so much to Katie Adams, Greg Anderson, Win Dayton, Linda Doornsbosch, Debbie Liang, and Mike Sakata for representing Welcoming Falls Church at the very start of our effort to get the word out about Welcoming Falls Church!