Welcoming immigrant integration beyond the local level: Atlanta’s One Region Initiative
Welcoming America, a nonprofit organization based in metropolitan Atlanta, has grown a membership network throughout the U.S. of nonprofit organizations and municipalities that present their communities as “welcoming cities” for immigrants. In 2018, Welcoming America launched the “One Region Initiative” to cultivate a concept of a “welcoming region” to transcend municipal boundaries. The purpose of this paper is to examine One Region member municipalities’ implementation of the plans and recommendations set forth in 2018. We specifically examined Phase I of the pilot program, which took place between 2019 and 2021 amid the broader multiscalar context of changing geographies of immigrant settlement and immigration policy. We do so through participant observation as One Region steering committee members, and applied researchers who have been engaged in immigrant integration work in the Atlanta metro area and throughout the country for over a decade. Overall, we find unevenly completed recommendations across locales (often more tied to resources than actual immigrant population share) and core areas (often tied to business friendliness and government).
Journal of Race, Ethnicity and the City
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