What You Can Do | Shelbyville Multimedia

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Adapted from the film Welcome to Shelbyville
directed and produced by Kim A. Snyder

What You Can Do

Shelbyville Multimedia is a great tool to help foster understanding about our ever-changing communities, but it doesn’t work without the participation of people like you. Below are the many ways to use it. Most of the activities below are eligible for Welcoming America’s “Friends of Welcoming” points that are redeemable for fun prizes, cash (to be donated to your favorite charity) or a $5,000 grant to start your own Welcoming Initiative. Click here to learn more about “Friends of Welcoming” and to join!

Embed a webisode on your website, blog, facebook page or anywhere else, and encourage your visitors to dialogue. You can find all webisode embed codes on our Vimeo Channel, just click on the “embed” icon in the upper right hand corner of the video. Or you can incorporate a webisode into a meeting, training or other event to easily tease out various themes raised by Welcome to Shelbyville. Customized discussion questions for individual webisodes can be found here.

Use one of the tailored modules with your organization or discussion group.

Host a screening and dialogue of Welcome to Shelbyville. Contact BeCause Foundation about how to get a copy. Use our discussion guide and event planning toolkit to help guide the process.

Host a Welcoming Gathering, and post your photos and video to the site.

Share a Welcoming Story with us. Watch the videos here and post your own. Don’t have access to a video camera? Submit your idea and maybe we’ll send a crew to you!

Hawo Smiling Kim Miguel

Like what you see and want to take it a step further? Here are some ideas on how to promote sustainable immigrant integration in your community:

Get to know your neighbors: Building relationships with people in your community can help foster deeper trust and understanding between newcomers and long-term residents. Invite your neighbors over for lunch or coffee and learn a little bit about them. You might even consider working with a local immigrant/refugee-serving agency or ESL program to convene a group of neighbors.

Join or start a welcoming committee: There are people all over the country who are doing welcoming work like Miguel and Luci. This work is being coordinated by Welcoming America. Visit www.welcomingamerica.org to find out if there is anything underway in your city or town and see how you can join existing committees or start a new one.

Seed positive dialogue: Help foster positive dialogue in your community by discussing the importance of cross-cultural community building with your colleagues, family, fellow congregants or peers. You can also spread the dialogue further by blogging about it, writing op-eds or simply providing constructive commentary on negative blogs and articles. See our discussion guide for ideas.

Support local service organizations: Immigrant service and refugee resettlement organizations are always in need of volunteers and support. You can support these organizations by donating money or goods, or even volunteering your time. Immigrant service organizations often need volunteers with special skill sets, such as language, financial, legal and even medical expertise

Educate yourself: One of the simplest things you can do is to find out more about immigration policies on the local, state and federal levels. You can learn by exploring the websites of expert organizations and getting up to speed on the latest demographic trends and policies.