SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit Area YMCA -- and its three branches the Summit YMCA, the Berkeley Heights YMCA and The Learning Circle YMCA -- will join Welcoming America and hundreds of YMCAs and other organizations nationwide to host "Welcoming Week," September 15 - 24, which will consist of events celebrating immigrants’ contributions to communities.

Bringing together all residents in a spirit of unity, "Welcoming Week" activities are open to the public and include various activities including but not limited to arts and crafts, dance classes, international meals, and more.

“At the Summit Area YMCA, we believe our community is stronger when everyone in the community feels welcome and we can all work together for the common good,” said Paul Kieltyka, President & CEO of the Summit Area YMCA. “'Welcoming Week' is an opportunity for neighbors – both immigrants and U.S.-born residents – to connect, find common ground and celebrate our shared values – all for a better us.”

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The Summit Area YMCA is committed to being "New Jersey’s first Diversity, Inclusion & Global Innovation Network", committed to creating a culture where diversity and inclusion are integral to everyday operations. With a goal serve as an organization with welcoming, inclusive practices and environments, the Y strives to welcome and engage people of all diverse groups in the community to help and impact lasting, meaningful change.

During "Welcoming Week" the Summit YMCA will host:

- Spanish Open House
- Kid Zone Activities & Crafts
- Youth Soccer League
- Shop Rite Product Taste Testing
- Senior International Potluck Dinner
- Wibit Hand Family Swim
- Water Fitness and Arthritis Classes

The Berkeley Heights YMCA will host:

- Parent’s Night Out
- Art From Around the World
- Food From Around the World
- Parranda! A Latin Dance Party with Zulma
- Speak 4 Silent Voices in Kolkata, India - Info table & Collection Drive

While the Learning Circle YMCA will host:

- African Dance Project

“Communities recognize the benefits of being welcoming and ensuring that everyone can fully contribute to a community’s prosperity,” said David Lubell, founder and executive director of Welcoming America. “Welcoming Week events are a powerful way to promote cross-cultural understanding and build bridges between new and long-time residents, which results in stronger communities for all.” 

For more information about "Welcoming Week" events, visit thesay.org/ww.