Welcoming Plan Framework Areas
Civic Engagement – welcoming communities actively ensure that residents, including newcomers, fully participate in civic life by increasing access to leadership and democratic spaces.
Goal – Greater Kansas City works to empower racially and ethnically diverse residents with education and access to civic life.
Recommendation: Local community organization and institutions are accessible and processes for engagement are clear
- Identify and provide immigrant and refugee education programming that includes information on the responsibilities of local government.
- Identify organizations of individuals with experience and expertise on anti-racism, immigration systems, and equity and inclusion and connect them with local governments to provide professional development opportunities for civil servants.
- Review requirements to serve on local boards and commissions to ensure they are accessible and enable active recruitment of racially and ethnically diverse residents, including immigrants and refugees.
Recommendation: Neighborhood groups and associations increase inclusion, equity, and belonging.
- Review and adjust civic education programs, including neighborhood groups/associations, to intentionally reach new resident and ensure programming is accessible.
Recommendation: Naturalization programs are supported and accessible.
- Increase access to citizenship opportunities.
- Promote and celebrate public naturalization ceremonies.
Recommendation: Barriers to voting are addressed and removed.
- Increase access to voter registration.
- Expand voter access.
- Assist immigrant and refugees who are U.S. citizens with understanding their eligibility to vote, the voting process, and voter guides.
Connected Communities – Welcoming communities build connections between newcomers and longer-term residents by strengthening relationships and communicating shared values.
Goal – Greater Kansas City will be a place that purposefully creates, supports, and promotes opportunities for all residents to build trusted relationships with each other.
Recommendations: Organizations are supported I n their efforts and commitment to racial equity, inclusion, and belonging.
- Community leaders and organizations that work with immigrants and refugees provide education and information on the history of race and racism in the United States to address anti-Blackness, power, privilege, and oppression, as well as the ways in which all residents are impacted by racism.
- Invite community leaders from racially and ethnically diverse communities, including those from immigrant and refugee communities, to discuss and identify opportunities for cross-racial solidarity.
- Create a resource hub for organizations to access training information and resources for continued education on racial equity, inclusion and belonging.
Recommendation: A “connected communities’ group/program” composed of members from diverse sectors develops and promotes opportunities for all residents to learn about and from each other.
- Develop a steering committee form diverse sectors to regularly plan, host, and promote events.
- Identify issues of common interest and concern for all residents, ensuring racially and ethnically residents are included, to work on together.
- Develop and host new, smaller-scale culturally enriching events in spaces that will reach and engage all resident.
- Use partnerships and personal relationships to engage racially and ethnically diverse residents to proactively market events on diverse platforms.
- Host events to invite residents into spaces they are not familiar with (e.g. places of worship may host an open house once a quarter for other community members to tour and learn about different faiths).
- Create opportunities for mainstream arts and culture organizations to partner with racially and ethnically diverse residents.
- Promote and recognize existing large-scale cultural and faith-based events throughout the Greater Kansas City area.
Recommendation: Greater Kansas City will engage minority-owned busines assistance office to promote immigrant and refugee-owned restaurants.
- Hold “restaurant week” to uplift immigrant and refugee-owned restaurants.
- Create a map or app to promote immigrant and refugee-owned restaurants.
- Partner with a tour group(s) and incorporate immigrant and refugee-owned restaurants and community spaces into the tour.
Recommendation: Greater Kansas City is recognized as a welcoming and inclusive community.
- Use diverse platforms and media outlets to lift up cultural and faith-based events.
- Create or participate in a communications campaign that promotes share values and recognizes the strength in unity.
- Participate in Welcoming Week and other welcoming activities.
- Sign a welcoming proclamation or resolution.
Economic Development – Welcoming communities harness the full potential of all residents. Immigrants have the skills and assets to thrive, and economic development systems are prepared to leverage new and existing talent.
Goal – Greater Kansas City residents are fully able to participate in the economy, and economic development systems are prepared to leverage new and existing talent.
Recommendation: Workforce systems and initiatives support and sustain career pathways for racially and ethnically diverse residents.
- Engage local employers, chambers of commerce and other employer networks in equity and immigrant inclusion work.
- Support access to career and credentialing opportunities.
- Support licensing and re-credentialing for immigrants and refugees who have professional credentials from outside of the United States.
Recommendation: An entrepreneurial ecosystem supports immigrant, refugee, and minority-owned businesses for new business development and growth.
- Increase contract opportunities for immigrant, refugee, and minority-owned businesses.
- Promote innovative programs for immigrant, refugee, and minority entrepreneurs.
- Ensure that small business development centers meet the needs of immigrant, refugee, and minority entrepreneurs eligible to receive federal support.
- Increase entrepreneurship among immigrants and refugees by offering multi-lingual training, microfinance, and business incubation support services.
Goal – Greater Kansas City economic development programs collaborate to create equitable and inclusive economic development for the region.
Recommendation: Regional economic development plans and efforts identify and address immigrant and refugee engagement.
- Workforce development systems and programs are accessible and promoted to immigrants and refugees.
- Regional economic development services collaborate to address barriers for immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs.
Goal – Greater Kansas City creates a welcoming and inclusive workplace environment.
Recommendation: Employers, immigrants, refugees, and racially and ethnically diverse residents work together to improve workplace conditions and culture.
- Provide culturally and linguistically appropriate education to immigrants and refugees on workers’ rights and workplace safety.
- Support local businesses to diversify their workforce, including support to ensure compliance with vise requirements and re-credentialing.
- Businesses offer racially equity, inclusion, and belonging training to employees.
- Businesses incorporate a racial justice lens in hiring, retention, and promotion policies and practices, including addressing implicit bias.
Education – Welcoming communities strive for an educational system that ensures all students have the support they need to succeed in school and the education they need to succeed in the workforce.
Goal – Greater Kansas City commits to prepare and support all students including immigrants and refugees – regardless of immigrant status – for the workplace through all areas of education.
Recommendation: Education opportunities are expanded for young adults, regardless of immigration status, and include those who have aged out of secondary education.
- Create twilight schools in the community.
- Provide GED/HiSet and trade/vocational classes at no cost.
- Ensure paid internships are accessible to racially and ethnically diverse students, including immigrants and refugees.
- Ensure scholarships and financial aid programs are accessible to racially and ethnically diverse students, including immigrants and refugees.
Goal – Greater Kansas City commits to immigrant integration and economic mobility through education.
Recommendation: Educational opportunities at various literacy and education levels are accessible for working adults.
- Prepare immigrants and refugees to enter certification programs through trade/vocational classes by offering them at variety of times and locations.
- Hold on-site English learning classes at employment locations.
- Expand the Kansas City Public Library RISE program to ensure the services it provide are accessible throughout Greater Kansas City.
- Continually assess educational programming and its accessibility based on community feedback.
Goal – Greater Kansas City commits to creating equitable educational outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse students.
Recommendation: Support racially and ethnically diverse families, including families who do not speak English at home, to actively participate and succeed in the education system.
- Identify, promote, and incorporate proven family engagement strategies that focus on the unique needs of racially and ethnically diverse students, including immigrants and refugees.
- Ensure early childhood education is accessible.
- Create a seal of biliteracy certification program to recognize multilingual students.
Equitable Access – Welcoming places work to ensure community services and opportunities are available to all residents, including immigrants.
Goal – Greater Kansas City ensures equitable access for immigrants, refugees, and minority residents to essential services., including healthcare, transportation, housing, legal assistance, places of worship, and government services.
Recommendation: Processes for Safe Space designation are developed and adopted.
- Immigrants and refugees will be involved in the process to identify barriers to Safe Spaces and address solutions.
- Identify organizations that represent the range of necessary access points.
- Create a checklist of criteria for Safe Space designation.
- Identify a committee to administer Safe Space designation.
- Provide education to community members to increase awareness of designation.
Recommendation: Policies and programs are in place that protect racially and ethnically diverse residents from discrimination and predatory practices.
- Community-based organizations provide information about fraudulent services and scams.
- Community-based organizations provide referrals and information to reputable service providers, including but not limited to: housing, legal and justice services, healthcare, and financial services.
Goal – Greater Kansas City, including all local governments, provides meaningful language access.
Recommendation: A language access programs is in place across government agencies, with the goal of expanding to programs, services, and activities.
- Audit government services for language access compliance.
- Provide training to government employees on when and how to access and work with interpretation and translation services.
- Include emergency services and response plans in all language access programs.
Government Leadership & Safe Communities – In welcoming places, the local government implements systems and programs that strengthen community efforts and embed inclusion within government agencies. Welcoming communities foster trust and build relationships between residents, including newcomers, and local law enforcement and safety agencies.
Goal – Greater Kansas City will work to advance racial justice equity, and inclusion so that everyone – including racially and ethnically diverse residents, immigrants, and refugees – feels safe and welcome.
Recommendations: Locally elected officials and government leaders commit to racial equity, inclusion, and belonging.
- Local governments adopt the Greater Kansas City Welcoming Plan.
- Locally elected officials and government leaders support community events that are hosted by racially and ethnically diverse residents, including immigrants and refugees.
- Locally elected officials and government leaders make public statements about the importance and strength of being a welcoming and inclusive community.
- Locally governments ensure information about government services and resources, English classes, and naturalization is accessible through digital and not-digital means, as well as in multiple languages.
Goal – Local governments in Greater Kansas City adopt policies and practices that promote safe inclusive, and welcoming communities.
Recommendation: Local governments review policies and services to ensure they do not have a disparate impact on or exclude racially and ethnically diverse residents, including immigrants and refugees.
- Transparent and open opportunities are available for residents to provide feedback on existing and new policies.
- Ensure immigration status is not a barrier to accessing government services.
- Policies are adopted to ensure immigration status is not a barrier to accessing non-federal government services or shared publicly.
Recommendation: Greater Kansas City works to build trust and strengthen relationships between law enforcement and racially and ethnically diverse residents, including immigrants and refugees.
- Local law enforcement agencies receive regular training on working with racially and ethnically diverse residents, including immigrants and refugees.
- Partner with community leaders to enhance engagement and proactive interactions with racially and ethnically diverse residents, including immigrants and refugees.
- Foster positive youth engagement.
Recommendation: Greater Kansas City works to enhance accountability, transparency, and communication within its law enforcement agencies.
- Greater Kansas City invests in relationships and communications between racially and ethnically diverse residents, and law enforcement to better serve and protect the community.
- Partner with community-based organizations to provide Know Your Rights education sessions.
- Educate and promote the process to file law enforcement complaints with an impartial point of contact and ensure complaint processes are available in multiple languages for English learners.
- Publicly share data by race, ethnicity, gender, and geography on law enforcement policies, arrest, jail population, use of deadly force, and resident complaint statistics.
Recommendation: Greater Kansas City protects resident from deportation.
- Review and adopt policies to strengthen relationships and promote regular communication with racially and ethnically diverse residents, including immigrants and refugees.
- Partner with community-based organizations to provide education to racially and ethnically diverse resident, including immigrants and refugees on code enforcement policies.
- Code enforcement staff receive regular training on working with racially and ethnically diverse residents, including immigrants and refugees.
Recommendation: Greater Kansas City is prepared for natural disasters and emergencies with strategies to support resilience in racially and ethnically diverse communities.
- Local governments have inclusive emergency management plans.
- Provide meaningful language access throughout emergencies and disaster relief.
- Ensure racially and ethnically diverse residents are involved in the emergency planning and response process and part of the Emergency Operations Center.
Goal – Greater Kansas City creates a welcoming and inclusive climate attractive to racially and ethnically diverse residents.
Recommendations: Identify best practices for local governments to adopt policies that ensure all residents feel welcome.
- Promote the arts and cultures of racially and ethnically diverse residents.
- Arts and cultural programs and services are accessible to and celebrate the contributions of immigrants, refugees, and racially and ethnically diverse residents.
- Government communication materials reflect and celebrate the diversity of the community.
- Recreational services evaluate and ensure their programs are accessible and engaging to racially and ethnically diverse residents.
- Local governments adopt welcoming resolutions.