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What is Welcoming Salt Lake

Salt Lake County was designated Certified Welcoming on June 19, 2018

Learn more about Certified Welcoming

Welcoming Salt Lake is an effort by Salt Lake County to support New Americans - refugees and immigrants - by welcoming them into our community. We recognize that new Americans bring with them opportunities for greater diversity in communities and in our local economy.

Action Plan:

1. United Vision

Goal: Make Utah the most welcoming state

2. Connecting Communities

Goal: Ensure that all residents live in safe, healthy, connected communities

3. Vitality & Vibrancy

Goal: Maximize the economic potential of New Americans


Who are New Americans?

New Americans are foreign-born residents.

Why build welcoming communities?

Welcoming communities are safer, stronger, and more vibrant. They are inclusive places where neighbors get to know one another. Being a welcoming community is about inviting New Americans to join us in building strong communities, finding strength in our diversity, and resisting fear and division. We should stop thinking in terms of “us versus them,” and start thinking in terms of just us – if we can do that, we will be able to do so much, together. Welcoming communities connect new residents to their neighbors and to local government, creating a climate where immigrants and refugees become deeply involved in their community and invest their time, money, and hopes.

How do welcoming communities benefit us?

Becoming a more inclusive community means a more vibrant culture, more jobs created by immigrant entrepreneurs, and a thriving economy that benefits us all. Welcoming helps us work together to make sure that all of us - white, black, Christian, Muslim, or any faith - are part of making a community a great place to live. By giving each person an equal opportunity to contribute, it makes the entire community stronger.

What does a welcoming community look like?

Welcoming communities are inclusive, equitable places where everyone can reach their greatest potential and contribute to a prosperous economy and flourishing culture. Our Welcoming Framework identifies strategies across five areas that engage both immigrants and receiving communities to reduce barriers to full participation and create a culture where everyone feels they belong.  

  • Leadership and communications
  • Equitable access
  • Economic opportunity and education
  • Civic engagement
  • Safe and connected communities

How is Welcoming America's approach different?

As communities are reshaped by demographic change, there must be an intentional effort to manage that change. Just as fertile soil is needed for a seed to grow, receptive communities are critical for immigrants to be able to fully participate in the social, civic, and economic fabric of their adopted hometowns. Welcoming America helps communities move beyond divisiveness and fragmentation to a coordinated web of policies and programs that ensure that all residents - including immigrants - can fully participate and belong.

Do newcomers want to integrate with our community?

Yes! Across the United States, newcomers are working side by side with their neighbors to strengthen their shared communities. The successful integration of immigrants contributes to a robust economy and a vibrant culture for everyone. According to a 2015 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, successful integration is dependent on immigrant participation in social institutions like the labor market, school, and their social acceptance by other Americans. With Welcoming America’s support, we can accelerate this process and make our communities places where everyone can thrive. It’s not just about what you look like or where you were born that makes you American - it’s how you live your life and what you do that defines you here in this country. Packing up everything and moving to a new place takes courage and resilience – the same values that define us as Americans. And that’s a good thing for all of us.  We know that when cities and towns become more welcoming, they become more vibrant and prosperous places for everyone.

Welcoming Salt Lake
2001 S State Street  N1-130
PO Box 144575
Salt Lake City, UT 84190
Phone: (385) 468-4861