Bellevue welcomes Welcoming Week

Musician Eduardo Mendonça, who will lead a drumming workshop, performs at Live at Lunch.

Bellevue welcomes Welcoming Week

Bellevue and other Eastside cities are participating in the national Welcoming Week (Sept. 14-23), hosting resource fairs, an employer panel, potlucks, documentary film screenings, and crafts and dance events that celebrate immigrants.

In Bellevue, Welcoming Week events will include:

  • Crafts and Dance from Around the World: Dance and kung fu demonstrations, Chinese games, henna and rangoli instruction. Saturday, Sept. 15, 1-3 p.m., Highland Community Center, 14224 Bel-Red Rd.

  • Cultural Conversations “Moving Beyond Hello:” Members of the women’s group who immigrated will offer tips for long-time residents and other newcomers. Tuesday, Sept. 18, 1-2:30 p.m., Crossroads Community Center, 16000 NE 10th St.

  • Employer Meet and Greet: Job, career information and lunch with a focus on common immigrant questions. Employers, including the City of Bellevue, will represent different business sectors and connect with job seekers. Thursday, Sept. 20, 12-1:30 p.m., Hopelink, 14812 Main St.

  • Brazilian Drumming Workshop: Learn to play traditional and contemporary Brazilian grooves. Participants play as an ensemble with musician Eduardo Mendonça. Free for Bellevue residents; $12 for others. Friday, Sept. 21, 5:30-7 p.m., Northwest Arts Center, 9825 NE 24th St.

Every year, communities across the U.S. host a variety of events that bring newcomers and longtime residents together in honor of the social, cultural and economic benefits that immigrants bring to communities. More than 20 events are scheduled for Welcoming Week in Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Issaquah and Sammamish, coordinated by the Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition.

The Eastside is growing rapidly, increasing in population by over 80,000 people in the last five years. Over 40 percent of the newcomers have come from outside the United States. In 2014, the Bellevue City Council adopted a vision statement with the opening words “Bellevue welcomes the world. Our diversity is our strength.”

Published on 09/05/2018
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