New Tulsa Initiative Promotes Citizenship

Courtesy photo
WELCOMING NEWCOMERS: Tulsa’s history of welcoming newcomers continues as future citizens come from Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Tulsa is a city of immigrants founded by Muscogee Creek citizens who were driven from their homeland and founded our city at the Creek Council Oak Tree. Since that time, Tulsa has been a city that has welcomed refugees from all around the world with open arms and we are a better city because of their contributions.
In the coming days and months as Tulsa starts welcoming Afghan refugees, we want them to know how appreciative we are that they are here. In addition to the ways we are working to welcome new neighbors, there are a lot of exciting things happening in Tulsa anyone can enjoy.
One of the first stops I hope our new neighbors make is to Gathering Place, which is the greatest park ever given to an American city. Situated along the Arkansas River, the park is free, along with the many miles of trails and city parks along the river.
We also have the Mother Road, Route 66, which was founded by a Tulsan. As attractions along the road grow, there are various stores and local businesses to check out along the way.

But more than anything, as Tulsa opens its arms to the refugees from Afghanistan, we hope Tulsa’s welcoming spirit and resources find these refugees well. While I know it can be difficult navigating a city in a new country, we have a plan in place to help make that transition easier – it’s called the New Tulsans Initiative. This program promotes citizenship here in Tulsa and has various ways to help immigrants to our city find a job in a field they have experience in.
I think I speak on behalf of my fellow 400,000 Tulsans when I say we want these Afghan refugees to have a seat at the table while they are here. City Hall and its resources are open to anyone needing assistance or who want to get engaged in the cultural and leadership life in our city.
As we empathize with the challenges many of these families have had to face recently, we’re incredibly humbled and excited to embrace the new chapters in these people’s lives and welcome them to Tulsa with open arms.
If you are a Tulsan looking to help – I want to direct you to Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma. We have partnered with them to help resettle refugees in Tulsa and they are looking for volunteers and donations. To contact them, call (918) 949-4673. Additionally, YWCA Tulsa is looking to hire interpreters and translators to assist in the resettlement effort. If you are interested, please give them a call at (918) 587-2100.

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