Welcoming Roanoke

Welcoming Facebook Cover

Welcoming Week | September 9-18, 2022

"Where We Belong"

This schedule will be updated as events are confirmed

Friday, September 9

5:00 PM -- Welcoming Week Kick-Off Celebration, Wasena Park

6:00 PM -- 2nd Annual Roanoke Runs for Refugees 5K/1K (register here)

Saturday, September 10

3:00 PM -- International Soccer Cup. Futsal Courts at Preston Park

Feel free to bring this waiver with you to the event

Sunday, September 11

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM --Carvin's Cove Hike (confirm your attendance here)

Monday, September 12

3:00 - 7:00 PM -- Job Expo, Main Library downtown

Tuesday, September 13

4:00 - 6:00 PM -- Education Fair, Gainsboro Branch Library

Wednesday, September 14

4:00 - 7:00 -- Coffee with Council, EOC on 1st floor of the Municipal Building

Thursday, September 15

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM -- Open House at the Municipal Building

Friday, September 16

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM -- Citizenship Celebration, City Council Chambers

Saturday, September 17

12:00 PM - 4:00 PM -- Open House at Station 5, 1920 Orange Avenue NW

1:00 PM -- Henry Street Festival, Elmwood Park (find all the details here)

Sunday, September 18

5:00 PM -- Community Meal, sponsored by Points of Diversity, Melrose Branch Library 

Roanoke, VA strives to be a welcoming and inclusive community year round!  

For more information about Welcoming Week & Welcoming America, click here.

restaurant month website

Roanoke's International Restaurant Month

September 1 - 30, 2022

More than a dozen local restaurants are participating in this year's International Restaurant Month!  Click here to download and print your passport or visit a local library to pick one up, then enjoy delicious international fare all over Roanoke!  Get at least six stamps, turn in your passport by October 5, and you could win some great prizes!

My City Academy

My City Academy is a free leadership training program that empowers Roanoke’s refugee and immigrant populations to better understand and participate in Roanoke’s local government.   Participants will be introduced to municipal government services to help them gain a better understanding of how their government works and ways in which they can be involved.  Participants will also learn about a wide range of available community resources that will enable them to experience a more productive and enjoyable life experience in Roanoke and help others do the same.  

The leadership portion of the training is modeled after the nation-wide Natural Helpers curriculum, which gives individuals tools, training, and a network to help our New American community more effectively.  The intended participant is an individual who is often asked for resources and help by their community, is committed to serving others, and has experience connecting others with services and resources.

The in-person trainings will take place over 4 consecutive Saturdays and will include presentations from City departments and community-based organizations as well as field trips and interactive activities.  The four weeks of training will be followed by monthly sessions which will cover topics ranging from food security, advocacy, and asset mapping, to community-based resources like mental health services, adult education, and workforce development.

The expectation is that participants will commit to at least a year of volunteering within their respective communities, providing leadership and guidance around navigating City services and community-based resources.  Applicants should be from a community in which members are New Americans and have strong proficiency in speaking English.  However, there will be opportunities for discussion and processing in participants’ home languages and translated materials when necessary.

The Fall 2022 cohort of My City Academy will meet on four consecutive Saturdays from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm: October 29, November 5, November 12, and November 19.

To apply or to nominate someone, click the links below.  Forms may be filled out electronically and emailed to [email protected], or they can be printed and brought to the Municipal Building in person.

Application and Nomination Forms (printable)

MCA logo

My City Academy Application

  1. Applications are due October 14 by 5 PM!

    If you have questions or need help completing or submitting this form, contact Katie (540-853-1283 or [email protected], or on WhatsApp at 540-588-0621).

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To request a Welcoming Week yard sign for your home, business, or place of worship, send an email to [email protected]

Welcoming Week 2021 Spotlight Events:

Friday, September 10 

      6:15 PM -- 1K Kids Fun Run and 5K Walk/Run, Roanoke Runs for Refugees, Wasena Park 

Saturday, September 11

     10:00 AM - 3:00 PM -- Scavenger Hunt and Community Vendor Fair, downtown and Main Library

Sunday, September 12

     3:00 - 5:00 PM -- International Soccer Cup, Rivers Edge North 

Friday, September 17

     6:30 PM -- Salsa Lessons with Salsa Noke, Century Plaza

Saturday, September 18

    1:00 - 4:30 PM -- International Taste of Roanoke Tour, all over Roanoke!

welcoming-roanoke-horiz-logoEveryone is welcome in the City of Roanoke.

Welcoming Week (#welcomingroanoke; #welcoming week; #belongingbeginswithus; #IAmAWelcomer)

The City of Roanoke celebrated its first Welcoming Week in September 2018. More than 400 people participated in a wide variety of events, including a Soccer Party, Intro to Arabic Class, Multilingual Adult Spelling Bee, a free Cultural Intelligence Workshop, Community Potluck and Immigration Discussion, Welcoming Week Trivia, and a LatinX Job Fair. In addition to hosting events, the city distributed 2,400+ welcomer buttons, stickers, flyers, postcards, and posters throughout the community. 

The City of Roanoke has received the Gateways for Growth Challenge grant, which will provide technical assistance in creating an immigrant integration plan to help make our community more welcoming and equitable for all people. City staff is diligently working on this plan and will share it later this year. 

Find out more information and take the survey at PlanRoanoke.org.

Check out our Welcoming Week "Storyteller Videos" by clicking here.


Thank you to our friends at the Virginia Tech Fralin Biomedical Research Institute for your partnership in Welcoming Roanoke: