Baltimore County Launches New Americans Task Force To Promote Inclusion And Integration
BALTIMORE COUNTY - In recognition of the growing immigrant population and their significant contributions to the community, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski has issued an executive order creating the New Americans Task Force. The initiative aims to foster positive relationships with immigrants and enhance their well-being, economic success, and safety.
"Baltimore County's greatest strength is its diversity, and we believe that all people - including those new to the country - should feel welcomed, included, and valued. This task force's work will highlight our commitment to supporting the immigrant community and strengthen efforts countywide to ensure the successful integration of our New American neighbors," Olszewski said.
Chaired by Helany Sinkler, Diversity Acquisition Program Manager at T. Rowe Price, the Task Force comprises a diverse group of stakeholders from nonprofit organizations, private partners, foundations, financial institutions, and County agencies serving New Americans. Their collective goal is to develop an integration and inclusion strategic plan that builds upon the strengths of immigrants, their families, and their institutions.
To gain insights and address immigrants' unique challenges, the Task Force will organize focus groups in each councilmanic district and conduct a community survey in the County's five most commonly spoken languages. By identifying and analyzing barriers that impede immigrants' access to services, the Task Force will provide recommendations to address these challenges effectively.
Giuliana Valencia-Banks, Baltimore County Immigration Affairs Outreach Coordinator, expressed the significance of this initiative, stating, "New Americans are here to have a better life, and while they are extremely resilient, they have barriers to accessing services many of us take for granted. The New Americans Task Force's work will support the efforts of this administration to make Baltimore County a place of welcome, economic opportunity, and inclusion. We are taking a comprehensive, community-driven approach to New American inclusion."
The first meeting of the Baltimore County New Americans Task Force will be conducted via WebEx on Monday, June 12, at 6 p.m. The Task Force will submit a report to the County Executive and County Council by March 31, 2024, outlining their findings and recommendations.
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