PROVIDENCE – A new marketing campaign for the Welcoming Rhode Island initiative kicked off Tuesday on RIPTA buses throughout Rhode Island.
Welcoming Rhode Island is an affiliate of Welcoming America, a national, grassroots collaborative that “works to promote mutual respect and cooperation between foreign-born and native-born Americans,” according to a release.
“From an industrial mill area to an increasingly 21st-century global hub, Rhode Island has a history of welcoming diverse waves of immigrants and refugees to its shores,” Michelle DePlante, who is coordinating the Welcoming Rhode Island initiative, said in prepared remarks.
“Welcoming Rhode Island encourages neighbors to exchange stories with the aim of breaking down barriers, improving cultural understanding and strengthening relationships,” said DePlante. “The new marketing campaign will help spread positive messages about the contributions immigrants have brought to our state.”
Rhode Island is one of 22 states that have joined Welcoming America. The organization aims to create a community atmosphere in which immigrants are more likely to integrate into the social fabric of their new hometowns.
“Welcoming Rhode Island is designed to shift the topic of immigration away from contentious debate and to encourage rational and respectful dialogue,” said the organization’s release, adding that the initiative, which is hosted by the International Institute of Rhode Island, is not political and does not advocate for any legislation.
The marketing campaign – designed by Providence-based New Flavor Media LLC – includes RIPTA bus ad banners with photos and information about three first- or second-generation immigrants who are prominent in the Rhode Island community.
“Welcoming Rhode Island offers our nation a shining example of how building communities that welcome all who live there speaks to our deepest values as Americans, and to our greatest aspirations for prosperity and economic growth,” David Lubell, executive director of Welcoming America, said in prepared remarks. “We applaud the spirit of unity through which Welcoming Rhode Island is bringing together newcomers and long-time residents from across Rhode Island to build stronger communities, together.”
Welcoming Rhode Island’s marketing campaign was designed to help promote National Welcoming Week. To see a list of the Welcoming Week activities in the Ocean State, visit: www.welcomingri.org.