“As a Jewish American, nothing could make me feel more connected to my values and to my history than working to welcome immigrants and refugees to this country. One of Judaism’s central teachings is to ’welcome the stranger,’ to offer shelter to those in need and to accept those whom we perceive to be different from us. We must honor this heritage by welcoming those who continue to arrive from other lands, and by exhorting our country to live up to its own ideals of equality and inclusion for all who call America home.”
By inspiring global community and by building and providing opportunities for immigrants to successfully integrate economically, socially and civically, Welcoming America has a presence in more than 190 communities across the U.S. The organization works with local governments and non-profits to guide the implementation of policies, programs and practices that help immigrants, refugees and entire communities reach their full economic and social potential. Welcoming America helps communities eliminate the institutional barriers that make it more difficult for immigrants to fully integrate while addressing the concerns of long-time residents. Currently, more than 48 million Americans live in a Welcoming Community – that’s one in every nine people in the U.S. and growing.
Welcoming America’s trailblazing social change model is unique in its holistic focus: recognizing that our differences as Americans are the source of our strength as defined by our rich cultural tapestry, shared values, and strong local communities.
David Lubell is the Founder of Welcoming America, and recently shifted his full-time focus to the organization’s international efforts as the Founding Director of the Welcoming International program. An accomplished social entrepreneur, David inspires people to build a different kind of world — one that embraces immigrants and refugees, and fosters opportunity for all. Welcoming America, established in 2009, works with over 200 cities and towns across the U.S., supporting NGO’s and local governments to transform their communities into inclusive places where everyone thrives. The Welcoming International Initiative that David leads partners with entities that want to build bottom-up movements for welcoming in their countries. It is currently working with partners in Germany, Australia, New Zealand and the U.K.
David is also the founder, and former Executive Director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), which has grown into a model for immigrant rights organizing throughout the U.S. At TIRRC, David helped found Welcoming Tennessee, the model for what is now Welcoming America.
Welcoming America has gained significant recognition. In 2014, the White House honored the organization as “Champions of Change” for their innovations in immigrant integration. That same year the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and BMW Group distinguished Welcoming America as a recipient of their Intercultural Innovation Award.
A graduate of Wesleyan University , David received a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is the recipient of several social entrepreneurship fellowships, including Ashoka, Draper Richards Kaplan, and Harvard. He is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and was named to the 2016 Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 40 under 40 list.
AWARD PRESENTATION: David Lubell in Conversation with Fareed Zakaria
At a time when the U.S. and countries around the world face unprecedented poloarization, David Lubell's work creates understanding and connectivity between Americans and immigrants.WATCH HERE