The following is a republished press release and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact us at

ITHACA, N.Y. – This week, Ithaca Welcomes Refugees will celebrate Welcoming Week by hosting an Open House at Global Roots Play School on Friday, Sept. 15, to recognize immigrant contributions to our community.

IWR’s participation in Welcoming Week shows that in Ithaca, Americans of all backgrounds are joining to create stronger, more prosperous communities. We are proud to be a part of Welcoming Week, which is demonstrating that in places large and small, rural and urban, people of all backgrounds are coming together. It is a time to celebrate the values that unite us as neighbors, parents, and colleagues, and to make our towns more welcoming to newcomers and to everyone who calls our community home.

Please join us on Friday, September 15, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at Global Roots Play School, 402 North Aurora St., as we celebrate the opening of the play school, and invite the community to come together.

“These celebrations are part of a powerful and growing movement in our country and around the world,” said David Lubell, founder and executive director of Welcoming America. “Communities recognize that they are more vibrant and prosperous when everyone feels welcomed and can fully participate. In events across the world this week, new and longtime residents are building bridges and make their communities stronger.”

For more information about how you can participate in Welcoming Week, visit and use #welcomingweek.

About Ithaca Welcomes Refugees

Ithaca Welcomes Refugees (IWR) is a volunteer-led initiative, founded in December 2015, as a result of collective community reaction to the global refugee crisis. IWR works to foster a welcoming and fair environment for refugees and new immigrants in our region.

Services and activities are designed to continue the development of Ithaca as a welcoming host community. These include apartment set up and basic needs support, cultural and community orientation, financial assistance for resettlement and emergency support, education for the community on refugee and immigrant issues, fundraising, and training for volunteers.

In addition to ongoing activities, IWR is actively working on the development of long-term programming to address gaps in local community services, with the goal of reducing existing barriers to the integration and empowerment of refugees and new immigrants.

About Welcome Week

Welcoming Week is an annual celebration bringing together thousands of people and hundreds of local events that celebrate the contributions of immigrants and refugees and the role communities play to foster greater welcome. Welcoming Week is Sept. 15-24 across the country and now expanding to other parts of the world. Welcoming America is leading a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by making everyone who lives there know they belong. Welcoming America believes that all people, including immigrants, are valued contributors and vital to the success of both our communities and our shared future.

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.