The founder and executive director of Welcoming America, a global immigrant-welcoming movement, will be making his way to Kennesaw State Sept. 12.
David Lubell founded the Decatur-based company Welcoming America in 2009, and the organization now works in over 160 cities nationwide, according to its website. In recent years, Welcoming America has developed a working partnership with KSU’s Transnational Research and Engagement in Diverse Societies chapter. TRENDS Global’s pilot student chapter at KSU has helped set up many events on campus, including Lubell’s talk.
Lubell will speak about his national and international work, as well as to bring that information here to campus.
“KSU wanted to bring in a well-known international expert to speak with the students,” said Darlene Rodriguez, an assistant professor of social work and human services in nonprofit management at KSU. “David has started a movement, and this speech could serve as a catalyst or spark for students with their own ideas.”
“Welcoming Week,” a week designed to highlight the benefits of welcoming every member of society, begins Sept. 15. It involves an annual series of events that bring together immigrants and U.S.-born residents.
Lubell’s presence serves as an opportunity to kick-off “Welcoming Week” with an official face of Welcoming America and brings that conversation to campus.
“Hopefully we can plant our own seed in KSU and till it and make it a fertile place to grow,” Rodriguez said. “This will give students information on how we make campus a more welcoming and more inclusive environment.”
Lubell will be on campus meeting with KSU staff throughout the day. They will speak about the campus’ social climate, welcoming immigrant students and the goal of making campus communities more welcoming to immigrants. Rodriguez believes colleges are a reflection of society as a whole.
“Campus communities are being challenged with current events in the world,” Rodriguez said. “We want to figure out what it takes to be a welcoming university.”
Rodriguez hopes KSU will be ranked as a top welcoming university one day.
Lubell’s talk will take place in Prillaman Hall in HF 1000 on the Kennesaw campus, but the location is subject to change based on the expected turnout. After the talk, Lubell will hold an informal Q&A.