BUILDING NETWORKS OF TRUST
In October 2010 Hartford Public Library received a three year National Leadership Grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services to promote immigrant civic involvement. Several strategies have been implemented, all rooted in the concept of building networks of trusting relationships between immigrants and the receiving community. As a demonstration project, this initiative is being thoroughly documented on this website so that the model may be replicated by other cities in the future. Click here to learn more about Immigrant Civic Integration.
Strategy 1: Recruit and train volunteers to serve as Cultural Navigators. These mentors are integral in easing the transition of newly arrived immigrants into Hartford.
Strategy 2: Build coalitions among key stakeholders. The Immigrant Advisory Group (IAG) serves as a city-wide vehicle for stakeholders to communicate current immigration issues and share best practices with each other. It is also a forum for participants to learn about immigrant cultures and experiences.
Strategy 3: Community Dialogues designed to engage immigrants and the receiving community in dialogue on a topic of mutual concern. There are various approaches to this, but all lead to a plan of action. Hartford Public Library has piloted two approaches: City Wide and Neighborhood.
Strategy 4: Bridging cultures through facilitated book group discussions and film that portray the immigrant experience and cross-cultural dynamics.
Strategy 5: Communicate the value that We Belong Here Hartford no matter where you came from.