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 to easing the transition of newly arrived immigrants into their home city, 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: Engage immigrants and the receiving community in Community Dialogues on topics 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: Bridge cultures through facilitated book group discussions and films that portray the immigrant experience and its often complex cross-cultural dynamics.
Strategy 5: Foster the value that regardless of where you come from, Hartford welcomes you and We Belong Here Hartford.