Soft Landing Missoula (SLM) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) are organizing Missoula’s first annual Welcoming Week from September 15 – 24, 2017, offering a rich calendar of community events. In tandem with thousands of other organizations and communities nationwide, SLM and the IRC hope to inspire and celebrate welcoming all people to the Missoula community during this weeklong celebration.
Join SLM, the IRC, and other partners, including the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center, SALAM, Montana Women Vote, The Montana Human Rights Network, The New Neighbors Project and more, for a week of cultural activities!
Schedule of Events
Download the calendar (PDF).
Saturday, September 16 – Sunday, September 24: Come to the Mansfield Library’s main floor for an exhibit about the Missoula residents who have been working directly with refugee families. Learn their stories and how you, too, can make an impact. The exhibit is open from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily and will close on Sunday, September 24. Admission is free and open to families!
Saturday, September 16: Join Soft Landing’s Eritrean families from 9 – 11 a.m. at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 301 S 6th St W, Missoula, MT 59801, for a traditional coffee ceremony, which involves hand-roasting, grinding of the beans, and brewing of strong coffee before enjoying a delicious cup sitting in front of a traditional serving table. Come learn a bit more about Eritrean culture and get your coffee fix! Admission is free with a suggested donation to benefit the participating families.
Sunday, September 17: The Congolese families return to the stage for their second theatrical production in Missoula! Come to the Sentinel High School from 3 – 5 p.m. to see their latest production that will focus on Congolese culture, music, and dance. There will be a Q&A with the performers following the play. Admission is free with a suggested donation to benefit the participating families.
Monday, September 18: What spice do Syrians like in their coffee? How do you say “delicious” in Arabic? What stringed instrument do Iraqis play? Meet, greet and compete in Missoula’s first Culture Quiz, sponsored by SALAM (Standing Alongside America’s Muslims). Test your knowledge of new Missoulians’ cultures in a Jeopardy-style trivia game, followed by potluck dessert and table games from Iraq, Syria and other countries in the region. Come to the parish hall at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, 130 South 6th St. East, at 7 p.m. Bring your friends and your favorite dessert dish!
Tuesday, September 19: Visit the Missoula Art Museum, 335 N. Pattee St, Missoula, for the final showing of the Hmong culture exhibition, “From Flower Cloth to Story Cloth: Hmong Textiles in the MAM Collection.” Drinks and light snacks will be provided at 4 p.m., courtesy of The Good Food Store. Admission is free and families are welcome!
Wednesday, September 20: Pick up your phone and call your government representatives! Soft Landing Missoula, the International Rescue Committee, Montana Women Vote, the Montana Human Rights Network and many other partner agencies around the state are joining together to call our government representatives to express our support for refugee resettlement. In Missoula, supporters will be gathering at the Montana Women Vote office at 725 W Alder St #21 from 6 – 7 p.m. This is part of a statewide effort that will be bringing many groups from across that state together to make these calls during the week. Contact Montana Human Rights Network to find out more information about what will be going on in your area. From home, read this post to learn more about issues, which calls need to be made during Welcoming Week, and read suggested language for your call.
Thursday, September 21: Join the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center at the Roxy Theater at 8 p.m. to celebrate the UN International Day of Peace with the award-winning film, Rooted in Peace. This film features interviews with some of the world’s most intriguing thought leaders like David Lynch, Mairead Maguire, Pete Seeger, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and many more.
Saturday, September 23: Iraqi and Syrian chefs will partner with the chefs at Caffe Dolce to serve specialty dishes all day. You can also catch the famous Wow Falafel food stand on the patio! A portion of the sales of these dishes will go directly to the chefs. Grab your lunch or dinner at Caffe Dolce; you might want to make a reservation. This is going to be a truly delicious and special event!
Sunday, September 24: Get a sneak peak of the upcoming documentary, The New Neighbors Project upstairs at The Elks, 112 N Pattee St, at 5 p.m. This innovative project gives refugees a chance to tell a story from behind the camera. Watch previews of refugee-directed short films, which will be featured in film festivals around the county including Missoula’s Big Sky Film Festival. Ranging from a little girl’s fairy tale of rescuing her best friend from an evil king, to a man’s story of his struggle for education and life in a refugee camp; these films often flip traditional media narratives on their head as the refugee-directors tell you their own story. Q&As with the directors to follow each clip. Event is free with a suggested donation to The New Neighbors Project.
At each event, participants will have the chance to find out more about how they can get involved with SLM and the IRC and the chance to get a photo taken with a cool “Welcome” sign for our social media campaign. They will also have a chance to record their own immigration story with a friend or family members via the StoryCorp app and Soft Landing’s StoryCorps community. These stories will be archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
Can’t make it? Participate from home!
It’s also possible to participate in Missoula’s Welcoming Week online!
Post your Welcomer photos to social media.
Participate in our Call Day.
Share your story in our StoryCorps community.