Working towards a Long Island that’s working for everyone,
immigrant and native alike.

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Welcoming Long Island
Welcoming Long Island Intro

Welcoming Long Island is an initiative of Long Island Wins. At Welcoming Long Island, we seek to build mutual respect and cooperation between the foreign-born and U.S.-born who call Long Island home.

The ultimate goal of Welcoming Long Island is to create a welcoming atmosphere - community by community - in which immigrants are able to integrate into the social fabric of their new hometowns.

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GET INVOLVED

There are lots of ways to get involved. Here are some fun and easy activities to help make your community more welcoming.

Find Out How to Get Involved

RESOURCES

Check out our toolkits, reports, articles and other resources that will help you take action, answer questions or start a conversation.

Resources to Help You Get Started

Latest Welcoming Long Island News
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Vargas’s story, which has been generating serious Oscar buzz, reminds us that those who reside in the U.S. without documentation are more like us than we realize.

St. Joseph’s to Host First-Ever Long Island Screening of ‘Documented’

by Hendel Leiva on October 22, 2014  

Join us at St. Joseph's College in Patchogue for the first Long Island screening of "Documented."

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The wedding of Nadesha and Jesus Muniz was the original inspiration for Welcoming Long Island's Define American article series.

Define American: Celebrating a Marriage of Cultures

by Hendel Leiva on October 16, 2014  

The blending of cultures at the wedding of Jesus and Nadesha Muniz demonstrated the new way in which many of us are Defining American.

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“We are one people in the one world with one God. And we should have one love for every child from whatever walk of life there are!”

VIDEOS: Whoever Welcomes Children Welcomes Me (Part IV)

by Christian Bonawandt on October 2, 2014  

David Newman, Rev. Dr. Luonne Rouse, and Rev. Dr. Tracie Saunders speak for the children who are fleeing Central America and resettling on Long Island.

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“It’s hard for me to understand why we need this meeting. It’s a no brainer."

VIDEOS: Whoever Welcomes Children Welcomes Me (Part III)

by Christian Bonawandt on September 30, 2014  

Rev. Marc Herbst, Rev. Dr. Paul Johnson, and Canon Charles McCarron continue the call for compassion for children from Central America.

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"When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as a native among you. And you shall love him/her as you love yourself."

VIDEOS: Whoever Welcomes Children Welcomes Me (Part II)

by Christian Bonawandt on September 29, 2014  

Reflections, thoughts, and prayers for refugee children from Habeeb Ahmed, Rev. Charles Coverdale, Mary Dewar, and Rabbi Steve Moss.

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Pastor Dennis Walker of Holy Cross in Commack declared that "nadia es ilegal" -- no one is illegal!

VIDEOS: Whoever Welcomes Children Welcomes Me (Part I)

by Christian Bonawandt on September 26, 2014  

Father William Brisotti, Sister Margaret Smyth, Catholic Charities' Carmen Maqilon, and Pastor Dennis walker offer their thoughts and prayers for Central American refugee children resettling on Long Island.

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Immigrant-owned Gallo Restaurant in Patchogue hosted the kick-off event for National Welcoming Week on Long Island last week.

Unity and Compassion the Focus of National Welcoming Week on Long Island

by Hendel Leiva on September 24, 2014  

As part of National Welcoming Week 2014, Welcoming Long Island held three events that have important implications for the future of the welcoming movement on Long Island.

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Credit: Office of the County Executive.

Suffolk County Executive: Welcoming Immigrants Is a ‘Fundamental American Obligation’

by Christian Bonawandt on September 18, 2014  

County Executive Steve Bellone welcomed newly naturalized citizens as part of the third annual National Welcoming Week.

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Maylan Studart of Long Beach.

Define American: Maylan Studart’s International Legacy and American Success

by Hendel Leiva on September 4, 2014  

Like America itself, Maylan has a rich and diverse cultural history and an indomitable will that has brought her to Long Island as part of her ongoing journey to achieve her dreams.

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It wasn't all hate at the Commack Community Association meeting last week.

A Time for Welcoming and Opportunity

by Hendel Leiva on August 27, 2014  

Despite vocal opposition to care for immigrant children in Commack, I saw glimpses of opportunity to build a welcoming community.

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Organizer

Hendel Leiva

Hendel Leiva is organizer for Welcoming Long Island, an initiative of Long Island Wins. Hendel has previously worked in his hometown of Brentwood on various community related initiatives, including having served as the assistant campaign manager for the Brentwood Campaign for Quality Education. He graduated in 2010 from the University of Albany with a bachelor’s degree in English/Latin American studies. In 2012, he received his master’s degree in public administration from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Supporters

Mayor Paul Pontieri
Village of Patchogue

The Village of Patchogue is a proud partner of Welcoming Long Island in together developing a more inclusive Patchogue for all, immigrant and native born alike. Patchogue is a village that celebrates diversity, tourism, and a welcoming atmosphere, which we invite all Long Islanders to take part in." Expand

David Kennedy
Executive Director, Village of Patchogue Chamber of Commerce

We are proud to be associated with Long Island Wins and their Welcoming Long Island Initiatives. It is essential we recognize the vital role immigrants play in building the businesses that are an integral part of our community. We stand with Long Island Wins and Welcoming Long Island in their efforts to encourage meaningful immigration reform legislation that strengthens the bond immigrants have with our business community." Expand

Tracy Todd Hunter
Founder, Of Colors Patchogue

It has been a pleasure collaborating with Welcoming Long Island and Long Island Wins with our like-minded goals of making all feel welcome and given equal opportunity. Many towns on Long Island have seen the demographics of our communities change over the past decade. I believe it is important to recognize all of our new neighbors as people seeking acceptance and friendship with a desire to contribute and share in our communities and be a part of the American dream." Expand

Steve Bellone
Suffolk County Executive

Welcoming Long Island and its parent group Long Island Wins represent a standard that I have set for myself as an elected official; to ensure that all people are treated equally and given every opportunity possible. As a descendant of Italian immigrants who came through Ellis Island, I know how important it is to welcome our aspiring citizens to this country with empathy, dignity, and grace. People who choose to live here on Long Island are not only making the decision to better their own lives, but the lives of all of our community members." Expand

Habeeb Ahmed
Commissioner, Nassau County Human Rights Commission

We at the Islamic Center of Long Island are proud to support and be associated with Welcoming Long Island and Long Island Wins to work toward promoting sensible immigration reform. Long Island Wins makes all immigrants feel at home with respect and dignity in this great country of ours. The beauty of this country is that its success is directly related to the contributions of immigrants from all over the world." Expand

Linda Armyn
Senior Vice President, Bethpage Federal Credit Union

We are delighted to partner with Welcoming Long Island and Long Island Wins on its valuable 'Reading Circles' program, sure to make a great impact on Long Island...
With 26 branch locations across Long Island, and nine-12 more branches slated to open over the next three years, Bethpage works very closely with community residents and businesses across Long Island's many diverse communities. A good portion of our growth strategy is to better service Long Island's minority population, and that includes supporting programs and organizations dedicated to sustaining and growing our diverse communities. We are delighted to partner with Long Island Wins on its valuable 'Reading Circles' program, sure to make a great impact on Long Island."
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