Lafayette celebrates Welcoming America Week

(Provided Photo/WLFI)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — City officials and neighbors in the Greater Lafayette community are sending a message during Welcoming America Week — everyone is welcome.

Welcoming America Week takes place from Sept. 15-24 and is being celebrated with a variety of events. Greater Lafayette Immigrant Allies Executive Director Kirsten Serrano said the week is more than just about welcoming — it’s also about spreading a message.

“I have an immigrant family myself. My husband is an immigrant,” said Serrano. “You know, when there are so many anti-immigrant sentiments coming out of your own government, it’s very important that those in your community stand up and say ‘no, you are welcome here.'”

Welcoming America is part of a national organization that focuses on making communities more welcoming to immigrants and refugees.

In Lafayette, the week began with a handful of activities, including a naturalization ceremony, on Friday.

“We were very lucky that OUTfest, Global Fest and the Tippecanoe Latino Festival all signed on as welcoming week activities,” said Serrano. “And then we have three of our own things coming up later in the week.”

The celebration honors immigrants’ contributions and will highlight both Lafayette and West Lafayette’s ongoing commitments to diversity.

“People are more divided than ever, so we think it’s very important to say publicly that we are a welcoming community and everyone should feel comfortable here,” said Serrano.

She said it’s a small gesture, but one she thinks will have an impact.

“I think they absolutely can make a difference,” said Serrano.

For more information about Greater Lafayette’s Welcome Week and the list of activities, click here.