FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lisa Thurber
September 14, 2020
City of Fayetteville Celebrates Welcoming Week with Mayoral Proclamation
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.—Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan has delivered a proclamation announcing the week of September 14 as Welcoming Week in the City of Fayetteville. With this proclamation, Fayetteville joins hundreds of other cities across the nation that are taking time to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of immigrants and foreign-born residents to the culture, economy, and heritage of the United States of America.
In 2017, City Council passed the Welcoming Fayetteville Plan, aimed at making integration into the community easier for foreign-born residents and encouraging them to engage with City government. Moving forward with the plan has included the creation of a virtual Welcoming Hub on the City website, which brings together information about a host of resources for immigrants, such as where to find English language and citizenship classes, how to access City utilities and other services, where to find information about transportation, job training, and more. The City is in the process of translating more than a hundred pages of forms and other City documents into Spanish.
To encourage new Americans to become involved in their community government, last year the City Council passed a resolution that removed the requirement for residents to be registered voters in order to be eligible to serve on some City boards, commissions, and committees. The City has also become a member of Cities for Citizenship, a nationwide organization dedicated to encouraging eligible foreign-born residents to take the steps required to become naturalized American citizens. Steps in this direction include the sponsoring of “Citizenship Corners” in the Fayetteville Public Library, where patrons can access study guides, flash cards, and more to help them with the US Citizenship Test.
Also as part of Cities for Citizenship, The City of Fayetteville has worked with UArk Federal Credit Union to provide low-interest loans to immigrants to pay for the cost of the US Citizenship Test. UArk FCU offers unsecured loans up to $1,500 to qualifying immigrants at the special rate of just 7.9% interest. Those interested can apply online at https://www.uarkfcu.com/ . Be sure to list "citizenship loan" as the loan’s purpose.
During Welcoming Week, the City encourages businesses and individuals to extend a warm, Fayetteville welcome to our foreign-born neighbors and colleagues, and to show their Welcoming spirit by downloading a “Fayetteville Welcomes You” sign to display in business windows, on bulletin boards, and to post on social media platforms to show your support for Welcoming Week. The sign is available for download on the City’s online Welcoming Hub here: https://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/welcomingfay.
See below for full text of the Mayor’s Welcoming Week proclamation. To explore the City’s online Virtual Welcoming Hub, or for more about the Welcoming Fayetteville Plan, visit fayetteville-ar.com/Welcome.
Office of the Mayor
City of Fayetteville, Arkansas
In this challenging year of pandemic and social unrest, we recognize more than ever that our future as a global community depends on our ability and willingness to work across borders, welcome diversity, and look beyond race, ethnicity, religion, or cultural differences to recognize and celebrate our shared humanity;
The United States, as a nation of immigrants, has historically been perceived around the world as a place of opportunity, peace, and equality, where all may enjoy the freedom to strive, grow, and succeed;
Fayetteville recognizes that, as our society remains committed to its core values as one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, our nation will continue to attract those who seek freedom and opportunity and to grow in diversity;
Fayetteville, as one of the fastest growing cities in the state, is also a progressive and open-minded city willing to welcome diversity in its growth and encourage participation by newcomers of all nations, backgrounds, and races as we work together to build a collaborative and diverse community that affords equal opportunity for all;
As a member of Cities for Citizenship, Fayetteville also encourages and supports foreign-born individuals in becoming American citizens in order that they may more fully enjoy the rights and privileges citizenship affords, including the right and civic duty to vote.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Lioneld Jordan, Mayor of Fayetteville, Arkansas, do hereby proclaim the week of September 14, 2020, as “WELCOMING WEEK” in the City of Fayetteville, and call upon the people of Fayetteville to join together to continue to grow strong, inclusive communities—here in Arkansas and across our state and our nation.