Louisville earns national distinction for work with immigrant communities, celebrates Welcoming Week

September 17, 2020
Graphic with virtual badges of distinction

The city of Louisville was awarded badges of distinction today in the categories of Government Leadership and Community for its support of foreign-born residents and local organizations that provide services to Louisville’s immigrant populations. New American Economy (NAE), a national bipartisan research and advocacy organization, awards the badges as part of its annual Cities Index.

“We are honored to receive these badges of distinction from NAE, which reinforce the great work that Louisville Metro Government and our community partners are doing to ensure foreign-born residents feel welcome in Louisville,” said Sabeen Nasim, director of Louisville Forward's Office of Globalization. “This is particularly timely as we continue our celebration of Welcoming Week, a nationwide event that promotes the importance of welcoming and inclusion.”

Throughout Welcoming Week, the Office of Globalization has highlighted local organizations that welcome foreign-born residents to our city and interviews with members of our immigrant communities. The Office of Globalization also initiated the creation of a new song “One Voice” featuring talented musicians who are also members of the Louisville global community. Watch the music video here.

The NAE Cities Index is released annually and examines 31 different policies and practices, as well as 20 different socioeconomic outcomes, to assess cities on their work to integrate newcomers. In addition to Government Leadership and Community, the index evaluates cities in the categories of Economic Empowerment, Inclusivity, Legal Support, Job Opportunities, Economic Prosperity, Livability and Civic Participation.

Government Leadership evaluates whether cities have a dedicated immigrant-focused office, offer programs to attract new residents, hire immigrants and recruit foreign-born residents to serve on boards and commissions. Community looks at how cities support nonprofits and other organizations, run or support naturalization programs and host events to celebrate the contributions of foreign-born residents and encourage interaction with native residents.

In July, the Office of Globalization launched the Global Louisville Directory, a one-stop shop for foreign-born residents to access resources, career pathways, business development resources and more. The directory also promotes immigrant-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Visit the directory at www.globallouisvilledirectory.org.

NAE also released new data on Louisville in July showing that:

  • Immigrants in the Louisville metro area paid $702 million in taxes in 2018.
  • There were nearly 6,800 immigrant entrepreneurs in 2018.
  • Immigrants in the metro area account for 6.3% of the total population.

To learn more about the Office of Globalization, visit www.louisvilleky.gov/globalization.

For more information on the NAE Cities Index, visit www.NAECitiesIndex.org, and for more information about immigrants in the Louisville metro area, visit www.MapTheImpact.org.