A more neighborly valley | AspenTimes.com

A more neighborly valley

Dear Editor:

The Welcoming Colorado Initiative wishes to thank our speakers and all those who came to Centennial Park on the overcast evening of Monday, April 5, to hear some moving testimonials to the U.S. immigrant experience. The Glenwood Springs launch was in tandem with pilot community events in Aurora, Boulder/Longmont and Grand Junction.

While turnout was modest, 2009 Athena Award recipient Alexandra Yajko and Ramada Inn Manager Chuck Bawden spoke persuasively of the need for immigrant and receiving communities alike to challenge their common myths and stereotypes, share experiences and build mutual trust and understanding.

The question-and-answer session exposed the sharp conflicts and emotions immigration can spark, showcasing a need to elevate the tone with broader, more diverse community participation. In the coming months, the Welcoming Colorado Glenwood Springs Core Team will seek to enlist funds and volunteers to develop creative programs that generate respectful, open dialogue, melt barriers, correct misinformation and forge relationships to help achieve a less fearful, more cohesive and more neighborly Roaring Fork Valley.

Jim Coombs

Glenwood Springs

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