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Integration Through Civic Engagement

A. INTEGRATION THROUGH CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Goal: To encourage more people with an immigrant and refugee background to get involved in civic affairs so that their intercultural competence can be used for the benefit of the Aurora community

New American Citizens Academy

The New American Citizens Academy, a collaboration with Aurora Public Schools, teaches high school students about local government and city services as a way to encourage future city leaders. Using curriculum designed by the National League of Cities, the academy provides students with the opportunity to learn about local government functions, finances, city services, municipal projects, career opportunities, and public safety. More than two dozen students, primarily from families with immigrant and refugee backgrounds, have participated in 2016.

Police Officer with Students

The International & Immigrant Teen Police Academy is hosted at the Aurora Welcome Center, in partnership with the Aurora Police Department. This is a great opportunity for the youth in the community to learn more and get involved in law enforcement.

Citizenship Ceremony

Photo of Natural Helpers Program

The Natural Helpers Program, a collaboration with the Aurora Welcome Center, trains volunteers from the local community to prepare them to be successful in their helper's role. These volunteers have the desire to help their fellow immigrants integrate into the community. Two training sessions have occurred in 2016, with more than 30 participants representing over 15 countries.

Photo of Thank You America Campaign attendees

The U.S. State Department selected the Community College of Aurora as one of over 60 colleges worldwide to be part of Thank You America, a global campaign to combat violet extremism. They focused on immigrant and refugee populations in Aurora. Students developed a social media campaign focused on the positive role of immigrants in our local community as a way to recognize and celebrate their contributions and challenge anti-immigrant narratives. The Office of International & Immigrant Affairs organized a special closing event to recognize leaders of the local immigrant and refugee communities for their outstanding efforts. Attendees included Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, U.S. Attorney for Colorado John Walsh, the Colorado International Consular Corp and other local officials.

Photo of Strong Cities Network

Aurora became the newest member at the Strong Cities International Network. The Strong Cities Network (SCN) is a global network of mayors, municipal-level policy makers and practitioners united in building social cohesion and community resilience to counter violent extremism in all its forms. Learn more at http://strongcitiesnetwork.org/about/.

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