This year the Network was a community partner for WorldFest, an annual multicultural event in Woburn presented through a collaboration of Social Capital, Inc. and the YMCA International Learning Center. Participants enjoyed food, music, and dance performances from countries around the world, crafts, and children’s activities.
The Network was part of a focus on immigration. There was a large immigration timeline, where people were invited to put post-its around the time they or their ancestors arrived. The new organization Woburn Welcomes was there, informing the community about their mission, which is to “pursue positive civic change through education, collaboration, and political advocacy . . . to make sure that Woburn is a city that welcomes, values and protects all residents and families . . . to support inclusiveness, promote justice, and ensure access for everyone who calls Woburn home.” At the third Civic Gathering on May 18, hosted by the Network, the Board of Selectmen, and the School Committee, the participants were informed that Winchester Welcomes is also being organized, following Woburn Welcomes’ model.
The Network offered a WorldFest Welcome Map, where people put pins on their or their ancestors’ countries of origin, and wrote welcoming messages; there were over 35 different languages represented by the end of the afternoon!