Today marks the official start of “Welcoming Week,” “an annual campaign that connects neighbors of all backgrounds.” Today’s topic is “welcomers–” people who show hospitality and invite folks into their worlds.
When I first moved into my neighborhood, I was greeted by my neighbor with a plate of homemade banana bread. I don’t think she knew that I had already lived in the community for ten years and this was just a new house. She welcomed me to Hibbing, and she invited me to join her group of women who get together to visit.
Working at one of our Minnesota North colleges, I got delightfully schooled by my out-of-town and international students on just how one could be welcoming. These students were generous with their limited food, supplying rides to each other, and training their middle-aged, white woman teacher on how to shoot hoops (ha!).
I grew up in reserved, Finnish-American family. But my mother-in-law (also Finnish-American) was one of the most inclusive women I knew. In our first Thanksgiving meals together, it was not uncommon to have someone’s co-worker or high school friend join us. If their were gifts, the unexpected guests got them too.
Verna Myers, culture expert and global leader in the DEI space, says, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”
I see examples all the time of “welcomers” at work: co-workers who invite the new employee out, affinity groups (like Iron Range Off Road Cyclists) hosting open-invite group rides, hosts of foreign exchange students and foster parents, neighborhood kids inviting the new neighbor to play…
Where do you see folks “being asked to dance,” to join in on the activities and events that we love on the Iron Range?
Share your example in our one question survey!