In recent months, immigrants, refugees, and the individuals that support them have faced significant challenges posed by this presidential administration. Despite harsh rhetoric and politically motivated moves, it is important to focus on the positive actions that are being taken daily around the country to welcome our foreign-born neighbors. One way to do so is to read a newly released resource by practitioners at NewBridges. This report, “We’re Glad You’re Our Neighbor: Practice Wisdom With Immigrants in the Harrisonburg Area,” is based on a body of data that was collected earlier this year at the NewBridges Collaborative Community Summit, an event that gathered practitioners and community members who work with the local foreign-born population.
We hope you will read, ponder, and share this document with friends and colleagues. It highlights the history of immigration in this community, practice wisdom that has emerged over time for working with foreign-born persons, case studies of local agencies who are doing successful work with the population, and potential areas of growth for the future. Although this report focuses on efforts local to the Harrisonburg area, we believe that it will be a useful resource to people in communities all around the country who seek to take tangible steps to cultivate welcoming spaces in their various neighborhoods and cities.