Colo group seeks better atmosphere for immigrants |

Colo group seeks better atmosphere for immigrants

John Colson
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A new statewide initiative, called Welcoming Colorado and sponsored in part by the local Rotary Clubs, is hoping to foster better relations between immigrants and the communities they live in.

And the initiative is kicking off its campaign in Glenwood Springs on Monday, followed by events in Grand Junction, Aspen, Vail, Boulder, Longmont, Denver and Aurora.

The events are mainly centered around press conferences to outline the group’s goals, starting with one at Centennial Park, at 9th Street and Grand Avenue, at 6 p.m.

According to a flier being handed out in the communities, the main mission of Welcoming Colorado is “a new statewide initiative focused on community integration and immigration. We seek a respectful conversation and the space for honest exchange.”

Speakers at the event on Monday will include Alexandra Yajko, a Glenwood Springs resident of Polish origins who has been recognized in the past for her work in philanthropy; Rotary Club official and Ramada Inn Manager Chuck Bawden; and Club Rotario President Jim Coombs.

“It is geared toward everyone,” said Coombs, explaining the mission of the initiative and emphasizing that it is not meant to focus on any one ethnic group or promote any political agenda.

“We have a lot of immigrants from the former Russian Republic and Eastern Europe,” he noted, “and a lot of them are undocumented.”

The overall aim, Coombs said, is to promote dialogue within the community on immigration issues, among residents of what is known as “the receiving community” as well as among the immigrant populations themselves.

Other events around the state will feature a discussion in Boulder with U.S. Congressman Jared Polis, and in general, the schedule of future activities is expected to include “community discussions, film screenings and public receptions,” according to a release issued by the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, based in Denver.

Other dates in the statewide education and media campaign include press conferences in Grand Junction on April 6 and in Boulder and Aurora on April 8.

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