Welcome to Austin: Austin to celebrate its annual Welcoming Week

Published 8:52 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Austin’s annual Welcoming Week will be held starting this Friday.

Under the theme of “Where We Belong,” Austin’s Human Rights Commission, through community collaborations, will assist and co-sponsor events to celebrate Welcoming Week as a way of  bringing the community together and fostering a sense of belonging.

Mayor Steve King proclaimed the week Tuesday night.

“Welcoming Week is a great opportunity to highlight the ongoing and purposeful work that goes into building an inclusive community on a yearly basis,” King said in a previous press release. “Taking time to honor and highlight these efforts during this special period is appropriate and we can really demonstrate our progress when we give it our focused perspective and thank all those working so hard to make Austin a more accepting and prosperous community.”

For the past decade, Welcoming Week has brought neighbors together to elevate the work  happening every day in communities to ensure we all belong and thrive, no matter where we’ve  come from.

Welcoming Week is an annual campaign and celebration to showcase the movement of  communities striving to be more welcoming places for all, including immigrants. Launched in  2012 by Welcoming America and its members, Welcoming Week provides individuals and  communities the opportunity to proclaim welcoming values through events and local initiatives  that foster mutual understanding between immigrants and non-immigrants, as well as deeper  belonging for all.

To see a full list of events, visit the City of Austin’s website at www.ci.austin.mn.us or the  Human Rights Commission Facebook page @austinhumanrightscommission. Feel free to  contact individual organizations with questions about their specific events.

Other nonprofit organizations, local governments and individuals are encouraged to attend events  or participate however they can.

Welcoming Week Events

Thursday, Sept. 8

• Kick-off Event

Cedar River Farmers Market, 4-6 p.m., 501 E. Oakland Avenue, Market vendors, live entertainment by Debbie Anthony, food trucks (cost) and activities for kids (bounce house, free). Dunk tank with local “celebrities.”

Friday, Sept. 9

• Becoming Real, Artworks Center, 5-7 p.m., 300 N. Main Street, Solo exhibition by AK Garski;  A non-binary visual artist who creates artwork that deconstructs the gender binary and confronts social injustice.

Sept. 12-16

• Multicultural Read Aloud throughout the week, Woodson Kindergarten School Facebook  Page. Culminating with a LIVE storytelling event on Friday, Sept. 16. (Not open to the public)

Monday, Sept. 12

• Our Austin, Our America, Panel discussion, 6:30– 8 p.m., Austin Public Library, 323 4th Avenue NE Hear the stories of community members who have moved to Austin from countries around the world. What  challenges did they face? How can you make a difference in making Austin a place “Where We Belong”?

Tuesday, Sept. 13

Immigrant Voices, Immigrant Stories, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Riverland Community College Austin East  building library, 1900 8th Avenue NW

Hear the stories of students and community members who have moved to Austin from countries around the  world. How can you make a difference in making Austin a place “Where We Belong”? Light lunch provided.

Wednesday, Sept. 14

• Immigrant & Refugee Business Panel, 3–4 p.m., Town Center 329 N. Main Street, lower level Are you interested in starting a business or just want to learn and hear from others who have started one? Hear  from a panel of immigrant & refugee business owners to learn from their experiences.

• Inviting Table – Where We Belong, 5–7 p.m., Austin Artworks Center – 2nd Floor Gallery, 300 N.  Main Street. Join the Welcome Center, DCA and ILCM for an evening of connection and celebration of  Welcoming Week. Space is limited, RSVP by calling the Welcome Center at 507-434-2863.

Thursday, Sept. 15

• Whiteness in Plain View Author event, 6:30–8 p.m., Austin Public Library, 323 4th Avenue NE Join author Chad Montrie for an engaging dialogue about the history of racism in Minnesota along with creating a more welcoming Austin.

Friday, Sept. 16

• Indoor concert with LaGuia De Oaxaca, 5–7 p.m., Austin Public Library, 323 4th Avenue NE Live entertainment inside the library; with food truck vendors in the parking lot.

• YMCA Free Family Fun Night, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., 501 4th Avenue NE

Explore what the YMCA at ACRC has to offer! Fun for the entire family.

Saturday, Sept. 17

• Science is Where we ALL Belong! 9 a.m. to noon, The Hormel Institute, 801 16th Avenue NE All are welcome to this fun, family-friendly event! Participate in hands-on-science experiments and learning  stations, help create a community art piece and enjoy delicious, healthy snacks from all different cultures!

• Fiesta Latina, 7–11 p.m., Tienda Guerrero store parking lot, 301 4th Avenue NE  Live music, Mexican Independence Day celebration

Tuesday, Sept. 20

• Welcoming Family Night, 5–6:30 p.m., Sumner Elementary School, 805 8th Avenue NW Celebrating diversity through activities for all ages and Food Trucks.

• Ongoing throughout the month of September, Austin Public Library, 323 4th Avenue NE, Culture and Art events   

Saturday, Sept. 24

• 11 a.m., Austin Public Library; Jacquie Rodas Cardio Latin Dance – all ages

Ongoing, “Our Austin, Our America” Portraits on Display at Mower County Government Center, 201 1st Street  NE, Tour the halls, while the building is open, and see the many faces that make up our Austin community.

More info and updates at www.facebook.com/austinhumanrightscommission