The Center for Family Development is hosting an event this weekend where residents of Shelbyville can learn about local immigrants.
The "Welcoming Tennessee Presentation" is described as "an overview of immigrants and immigration in Tennessee." The event is scheduled to take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at 100 East Side Square.
According to Carlos Mejia, local organizer of the event, the presentation will host members of the Hispanic and Somali communities and talk about the Welcoming Tennessee Initiative (WTI).
The WTI is described as "a collaboration of concerned Tennesseans from all walks of life -- business, law enforcement, community and faith -- who are proud that Tennessee is a welcoming state, and are working to continue that noble tradition by increasing understanding of how new Tennesseans share our values, contribute to our economy, enhance our combined culture and strengthen our communities."
Mejia said that church and community leaders from throughout Shelbyville will attend, as well as members of the immigrant community.
"We will share what our experience has been with the community and then what they can do to integrate into the community," Mejia said. "What to do to be involved with the community."
The WTI was started by the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) of Nashville, who placed billboards around Shelbyville last month to educate the Shelbyville community about their new neighbors, according to Catalina Nieto, public awareness coordinator for TIRRC.
The TIRRC has already been working in conjunction with the Somali Community Center of Nashville and members of Bedford County Sheriff's Department about what is expected of immigrants when dealing with law enforcement. Nieto said more endeavors are planned for the future.
For more information on the event, contact Majia at firstname.lastname@example.org .