The Monroe County Y is thrilled to participate in this year's Welcoming Week where the theme is #BelongingBeginsWithUS through September 10-19, 2021.

Welcoming Week is an initiative to bring together neighbors of all backgrounds to build strong connections and affirm the importance of welcoming! It's a week for immigrants and U.S.-born residents alike to come together and celebrate our diversity.

No matter if you are someone born and raised in Bloomington or someone who has moved across the world, we all can relate to wanting to belong. Whether it's a starting new job or school, or moving across town or across the globe, we all have had moments where we felt out of place. But because we understand that feeling of being excluded, we also all have the power to make others feel they belong. Welcoming Week is an opportunity to help others and make them feel included in the community!

Join us at our Southeast and Northwest Y branches to participate in activities that promote cross-cultural understanding and raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone. In our lobbies, you can share your heritage on our Family World Map in our lobbies so other staff and members can see just how diverse our Y family is. There are stickers at the front desks for members/staff to place on the map.

While you're in the Welcome Center, you can fill out an “I’m a Welcomer” sheet to share why Welcoming Week is important to you. We’ll hang them in our lobby windows for all members to read!

Group Ex classes will start their sessions with an ice breaker to encourage class participants to share their heritage, favorite travel spot, etc., to help spark conversations among our instructors and members.

Follow us on Facebook for fun facts about the Y and engaging questions about your own experiences all week! Like us at Facebook.com/MonroeCountyYMCA. We are fortunate to have such a rich, diverse community with people from all over the world in our county, and we want to celebrate that at our Y!

September 10th, 2021