The world is on the move, bringing diverse people to U.S. communities. Global migration provides an opportunity for local communities to welcome new talent and recognize the importance of an inclusive and dynamic approach. Forward-thinking communities reflect upon what these changes mean locally and how to foster a community climate in which all are welcome and can contribute to their fullest potential. The alternative is to respond to demographic changes reactively rather than proactively, which can lead to fear, division, greater misunderstanding, backlash and decline.

Boise, Idaho was a community faced with a choice. Though considered a strong refugee resettlement site for decades, an economic downturn in 2008 gave the community pause as they wondered how they might continue to help new arrivals while also taking care of longer-term residents with growing needs. Rather than approaching their economic challenges with a scarcity mentality, Boise chose an abundance outlook, recognizing a pivotal moment to foster new ideas and new collaborations in order to create more resources for all community members, while at the same time strengthening community vitality and vibrancy. The people of Boise chose a positive vision for the future, and local government, refugee resettlement, community based organizations, libraries, recreation districts, schools and so many others came together to figure out how to help refugees integrate into the community and help all Boiseans benefit from this new opportunity. 

Learn how to apply lessons from Boise to your work in your own community with this guide.