Campaign promotes inclusiveness, support of all university community members.
The George Washington University has joined the national #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign to show its support for all, regardless of race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or gender identity.
By displaying posters around campus saying “You Are Welcome Here” in multiple languages and by sharing the message on social media, the university has joined more than 100 colleges and universities participating in the initiative.
“When we learned about the recent executive order and its effects on our students and faculty, we responded by providing information to our university community and assistance to those most directly affected,” said Doug Shaw, senior associate provost for international strategy. “We also sought to reinforce the sense that GW is a community drawn together by common values regardless of national origin through the #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign, which other universities are participating in as well.”
Started in November 2016, the #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign describes itself as a “message of welcome from U.S. higher education to international students around the world.” Universities are highlighting the hashtag on social media as well as creating videos to show support. GW will also release a video featuring some of its international students later this month.
Earlier this year, in response to President Donald Trump’s first executive order on immigration restrictions, George Washington President Steven Knapp wrote to the GW community to explain the steps the university was taking to support those affected. And in February, Dr. Knapp signed a letter from college and university presidents to affirm his commitment to educating students of all backgrounds.
Several university offices, including the International Services Office, Division of Student Affairs and Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement, are also providing updates as well as resources and support in light of the new executive order signed this week and effective beginning March 16.
GW enrolls more than 4,000 international students from more than 130 countries, Dr. Shaw said, and added, “a globally diverse student body is important to GW’s identity and mission.”