Nine Communities Selected for the 2018 Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange

2018 marks the third year of this program to share refugee reception and integration strategies and best practices

BERLIN – Cultural Vistas is pleased to announce the nine German and American communities that will participate in the 2018 Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange.

This professional exchange program annually convenes over 40 professionals from the United States and Germany to share best practices and learn from one another about the reception and integration of immigrants and refugees at the local community level.

The communities selected for the 2018 WCTE program include:

United States
Anchorage, Alaska
Boston, Mass.
Charlotte, N.C.
Montgomery County, Md. Germany
Landkreis Bautzen
Frankfurt a.M.
Landkreis Teltow-Fläming

Each community is represented by a team of individuals comprised of local government representatives, refugee resettlement agencies, civil society and interfaith organizations. The teams were competitively selected based on the existing approaches and challenges to integration present within their respective communities, their eagerness to share best practices among an international network of peers, and their ability to collectively implement new welcoming initiatives through their participation in the program.

In April, a 10-day visit to the U.S. will provide teams representing the German communities with a wide-ranging look into how various American cities welcome and integrate newcomers. The group will participate in site visits and meetings with their counterparts in the four U.S. communities. A national-level perspective will be provided in Washington, D.C.

In November, the WCTE participants from the U.S. will conduct a return visit to Germany. In addition to local site visits with their German peers, the group will convene in Berlin for a final conference to receive a federal overview and collectively discuss lessons learned and strategies for the application of welcoming initiatives in both countries.

The Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange is organized and administered by Cultural Vistas, together with its partners Welcoming America and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America. The program is funded by the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), as well as by the U.S. Department of State, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, and BMW Group.

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