After successfully completing an assessment by Atlanta-based Welcoming Americans, the City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania earned the important designation of becoming America’s latest ‘welcoming city’. Lancaster may be a small city, but its impact is grand. Its citizens have created a community that imbues values of inclusion, generosity and hospitality. Immigrants, including refugees, are vibrant participants in the economy, eliminating the chasm that often exists between long-time citizens and new Americans.
While refugee resettlement numbers have diminished significantly in the past two years across America, Lancaster accepted 20 times more refugees per capita compared to the remainder of the United States since 2013. The people of Lancaster have made a name for themselves as an invigorating place acknowledging distinctive heritage. This summer the Lancaster Central Market was featured in the New York Times in honor of the variety of products sold. The market is a culmination of cultures and illustrates progress diversity brings to a small city in America.
America was founded in this tradition of becoming home to people fleeing persecution of one kind or another. Cities like Lancaster model acceptance, encouraging refugees to share their culture and leverage innate talents stimulating the local economy. Creativity and innovation are an outcome of an influx of disparate individuals and when championed, ideas evolve into thriving businesses. Social entrepreneurs, supporting a gamut of issues from education to healthcare to economic empowerment, excel in this environment making it ripe for investment. Flore Foundation recognizes the prospect for business growth that results in this setting and is committed to award our next grant to an enterprise in the Lancaster community. In doing so we honor Lancaster’s history of openness and inclusion.
We congratulate Lancaster for their wonderful achievement!