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Authored on

Mar 1, 2023
Small, universal gestures create more welcoming communities for immigrants
A smile is the same in every language. Together, let's welcome every new neighbour.

Starting this March, the Grey Bruce Local Immigration Partnership (GBLIP) invites you to extend a warm welcome and offer support to immigrants in your local community. Embracing different cultural values and backgrounds creates a stronger and more vibrant society. Opening your arms and lending a helping hand to newcomers ensures everybody feels valued and respected.

As part of its ongoing efforts, GBLIP has launched an initiative emphasizing the power of small gestures in making immigrants feel safe and welcome. Gestures as simple as waving hello, striking up a conversation, or flashing a smile go a long way for an immigrant community member. When you welcome immigrant residents, you welcome new perspectives and ideas that strengthen the community.

Banners and billboards promoting simple acts of kindness will be visible throughout Grey and Bruce counties on bus benches, public transit, and other public spaces in March.

“It’s really paramount to see what diversity can offer,” says Gupta. “Immigration is colourful, and when you see all these colours, that means you are living in a dynamic place and that’s really important […] but it’s really crucial for our communities to understand that newcomers are not only here to be part of the workforce, they’re here to live […] We have to be welcoming and make them feel appreciated. It starts with us.”

On March 21, which marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racism, GBLIP and other local immigration partnerships are offering a live webinar event that aims to educate participants on allyship and the importance of creating a safe and inclusive space for immigrants.

For those looking to make a mark on their community and learn how to make a more inclusive space in your hometown, visit welcome

Deepikaa Gupta, coordinator at GBLIP and an immigrant herself, wants you to know why immigrants are vital to building strong communities. Immigrants bring much more to the table than their labour — they bring unique perspectives, valuable contributions, and a diverse set of skills that enrich the entire community.