WE Global Network
The WE Global Network, a project of Welcoming America in partnership with Global Detroit, is comprised of over a dozen regional economic development initiatives from across the Midwest working to tap into the economic opportunities created by immigrants. Immigrant communities, when welcomed in their new home, can generate greater economic growth, job creation, and prosperity for an entire city or region.
The Network embraces the following core values:
- Immigrant communities are assets to be nurtured and grown as a means of producing economic opportunity for the entire region.
- Welcoming immigrants into the economic and social fabric of a region helps to make that region more economically competitive and more attractive socially.
- Regional economic development initiatives can play a role not just in attracting immigrants, but also in retaining them and in enhancing their role in the community’s economic and social fabric.
In June 2013, over 150 representatives of immigrant welcoming and economic development organizations, policy makers, business leaders, and other champions attended the Initial Convening to network, share best practices, and learn about the programs of their contemporaries in a ten-state region. It was at this convening that these organizations agreed to form a network. Organizations also developed the following mission: to engage in activities that strengthen the work, maximize the impact, and sustain the efforts of individual local initiatives across the region that welcome, retain, and empower immigrant communities as valued contributors to local economic development initiatives.
A second WE Global Network Convening was held in Pittsburgh in June 2014 at which local organizations recommended a set of priority activities for the network to implement that will add value to their local work. The network is currently initiating the following:
- Developing a long-term vision for immigrant inclusion and economic prosperity in the region, refining mission and goals and identifying a network structure (including membership requirements and decision-making processes) to achieve goals and activities.
- Developing and implementing a communications plan that formalizes the way organizations within the network communicate internally and externally.
- Considering a new name and brand identity for the network.
- Creating opportunities for peer-to-peer learning among network organizations.
- Developing a state and local policy playbook.
As of August 2014, the network has a new corporate home with Welcoming America. It is staffed by Welcoming America, and Global Detroit. A volunteer working group of six (6) WE Global Network local organizations serves as a steering committee to guide the above-mentioned activities.