The Y believes our communities are stronger when everyone feels welcome, and we can all work together for the common good. For more than 160 years, the Y has provided immigrants with support and resources to integrate well and fully participate in American society.
The Y has a long history of welcoming and engaging immigrants – from launching the nation’s first English as a Second Language class in 1856 to providing aid to thousands of new arrivals at Ellis and Angel Islands in the early 1900s. As our community continue to grow and become more diverse, the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City has focused on making our staff and programming grow and evolve to reflect the needs of the communities we serve.
More that 13 percent of the U.S population (or 40 million people) is foreign born. The combined population share of foreign born individuals and their U.S.-born children is approximately 26 percent.
In the U.S., one in four kids under the age of six is a child of immigrants.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are approximately 19.5 million refugees in the world. Fifty-one percent of all refugees are children under the age of 18. Annually, the U.S. typically accepts less than three percent who apply for refugee status.
This Welcoming Week, let’s declare that #BelongingBeginsWithUS – that each and every one of us has the power to help others, regardless of their background, to feel like they are seen, embraced, welcomed, and included in our communities.