| Program: || World Communities of Louisville, Inc., Louisville, KY |
| Contact(s): || Dr. Dale Tucker, Director of Human Services: (502) 574-3069 |
| Purpose: || To support and empower immigrants and refugees in Louisville while celebrating and promoting cultural diversity |
World Communities, a coalition of individuals, ethnic organizations and social and service agencies, began in 1992 as an effort to gain information for the city government about the needs of immigrants and refugees in the Louisville area. Immigrant leaders voiced concerns about the increasing anti-immigrant sentiment in various parts of the country, and wanted to work to insure that the community knew of the cultural and economic contributions made by immigrants and refugees in Louisville. Participants in World Communities met with Kentucky senators and representatives, the mayor of Louisville, the board of Aldermen and others in local government to gain their support. The members of World Communities are working to eliminate the causes of discrimination, while supporting Louisville's immigrants and celebrating their cultural diversity.
World Communities meets monthly to discuss issues as well as concerns and publishes a monthly newsletter which is sent to over 200 groups and individuals in Louisville. The newsletter includes a calendar of events for different ethnic organizations, program features, and a different immigrant success story in each issue. The city of Louisville supports the newsletter by providing an intern to assist with production and by publishing and mailing the newsletter. Members of World Communities participate in the city's "Light Up Louisville" international holiday event each year, as well as Louisville's annual "Pegasus Parade," where over 200 individuals showcase their ethnic costumes. World Communities furthers economic opportunities for immigrants and refugees, and publicizes and coordinates services for immigrants. The group has promoted the idea of an international market in the downtown area. Members of World Communities have also met with representatives of the local Chamber of Commerce to discuss how immigrants and refugees can help with Louisville's current labor shortage and how immigrants can help Louisville develop global markets.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
Participants in World Communities, with the help of the city, developed a "Welcome to Louisville" brochure and an "Orientation Guide to Louisville" booklet for newcomers in a variety of languages. For almost two years, members of World Communities helped a local TV station produce the show Ethniscope, which featured a different ethnic group each month. World Communities also cosponsored a Diversity Photo Contest for children and youth with Fuji International, Taylor Drugs, The National Conference (also highlighted by the President's Initiative on Race as a Promising Practice), and the Louisville/Jefferson County Human Relations Commission. The resulting photos were displayed in local libraries and state and county fairs.