Minneapolis, MN – The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, will join Welcoming America and hundreds of YMCAs and other organizations nationwide in hosting events to celebrate immigrants’ contributions to our communities during Welcoming Week, September 14 – 23. 

Welcoming Week will expand upon the work the YMCA is doing in its New American Welcome Centers, which help connect newcomers to community resources and build connections. Watch this video to learn more about YMCA New American Welcome Centers. The YMCA will also be a participant at the Welcoming Week event hosted by the City of Minneapolis on Friday, September 21 outside of US Bank Stadium. The event will feature music, dance, spoken word, interactive art, voter registration, food trucks and more, and will have city leaders and staff available to connect with the community. 

“Our YMCA believes the Twin Cities is stronger when everyone in the community feels welcome and we can work together so all can thrive,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. “Welcoming Week is an opportunity for neighbors – both immigrants and U.S.-born residents – to connect, find common ground and celebrate our shared values. Cross-cultural understanding and relationships build a stronger community for all of us.”

This year, 15 Y locations across the Twin Cities are hosting events for members and the community to participate. Upcoming events include:

  • Potlucks at the Shoreview, West St. Paul, Burnsville and University YMCA’s to bring together food from various different countries and cultures. 
  • Group X fitness classes taught in Spanish and Hmong at the Eastside St. Paul YMCA on Sept. 19 and 20. 
  • Welcoming Open Houses at the New Hope, River Valley, Ridgedale, Woodbury and White Bear Area Y’s providing resources and activities for families in the community. 
  • “Daily Hello’s” at the West St. Paul Y featuring a specific culture in the West St. Paul community with activities, guest speakers and resource tables. 
  • The Refuge Experience with the International Institute of Minnesota at the White Bear Area YMCA on September 18, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Full list of activities at the 15 Y locations listed below:

Blaisdell YMCA - 3335 Blaisdell Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

  • September 16: Flag making, “I am a Welcomer” signs and open women’s swim at 2:00 p.m. 
  • September 17: Facilitated Family Discussion at 6:00 p.m.
  • September 19: Women’s Health Forum at 6:00 p.m. and open women’s swim at 8:00 p.m.
  • September 20: New American Welcome Health and Resource Fair from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Burnsville YMCA - 13850 Portland Ave S, Burnsville, MN 55337

  • September 14: Zumbathon
  • September 16: “Where I Am From” interactive may and “Around the World” activities in Kids Stuff
  • September 21: Multicultural Potluck, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Downtown St. Paul - 194 6th St E, St Paul, MN 55101

  • September 14: “I am a Welcomer” activity
  • September 15: “Where in the World” map showing where members of the community are from available in the lobby
  • September 16: “Expand Your World” Welcoming Week Card Activity

Emma B. Howe Northtown YMCA - 8950 Springbrook Dr NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433

  • “Where in the World” map showing where members of the community are from, available in lobby all week

Maplewood Community Center - 2100 White Bear Ave, Maplewood, MN 55109

  • September 14: Interactive “Where Am I From” map in lobby 
  • September 18: Welcoming Week Wall where community members can place pictures of where they are from
  • September 21: Welcoming Week Open House (outside), featuring special guest speaker, performances by cultural dance groups, community resource table, youth activities and Zumba class

New Hope YMCA - 7601 42nd Ave N, New Hope, MN 55427

  • September 15: Community Resource Fair from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
  • September 16 - 19: Information table available in lobby

University YMCA – 1801 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

  • September 20: Potluck for international students to connect with domestic students from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

River Valley YMCA – 3575 N Berens Rd NW, Prior Lake, MN 55379

  • September 14: Interactive map in lobby, Diversity Trivia with prizes
  • September 15: “I’m a Welcomer” activity in lobby
  • September 17: Welcoming Week programming in Early Childhood Learning Center, Kids Stuff and School-Aged Care
  • September 18: Intro to Group X class at 4:30 p.m., Sports information in lobby – shoot hoops for prizes from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 
  • September 19: Information table at Child and Teen Checkup
  • September 20: Gym games from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • September 21: Intro to Yoga class
  • September 22: Welcoming Week Celebration Event featuring food, community resources, personal training consults, water volleyball and games and activities for youth from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Shoreview YMCA – 3760 Lexington Ave N, Shoreview, MN 55126

  • September 14: “I am a Welcomer” activity and Information table in main lobby
  • September 15: Art activity in Kids Stuff and main lobby
  • September 17: “Where I am From” interactive map in lobby, Passport Bingo
  • September 19: Potluck – foods from around the world
  • September 20: Community Forum
  • September 21: Health Open House
  • September 22: Volunteer Open House
  • September 23: Highlighting Zumba

St. Paul Eastside YMCA - 875 Arcade St, St Paul, MN 55106

  • September 14: “Humans of Eastside” project kick-off
  • September 18: Food distribution at John A. Johnson Elementary School
  • September 19: Group X class in Spanish at 5:30 p.m. 
  • September 20: Group X Class in Hmong at 10:00 a.m., Resource Fair

St. Paul Midway YMCA - 1761 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104

  • September 17: Interactive Heritage Wall available in lobby
  • September 18: Immigration Law presentation by Ministries at 6:00 p.m. 
  • September 19: Lunch and Learn on Somalia and Ethiopia from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • September 20: Family Fun Night and Sports Sampler, including job fair, food and activities from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Saint Paul YMCA - 150 Thompson Ave E, West St Paul, MN 55118

  • September 14: Daily Hello, Vietnamese – Xin Chao and Passport Bingo
  • September 15: Daily Hello, Romanian – Buna 
  • September 16: Daily Hello, Spanish – Hola, Mexico Independence Day Celebration, 90 min. Zumba Party open to community, food in the lobby with guest speaker sharing immigration story, Aztec dance group at 10:30 a.m.
  • September 17: Daily Hello, Arabic – Marhabaan
  • September 18: Daily Hello, Latin – Salve, Immigration Lawyer from Nagell Law, PLLC available in lobby 
  • September 19: Daily Hello, Polish – Czesc, Staff Salsa cook-off at 11:00 a.m.
  • September 20: Daily Hello, Korean – Yeoboseyo, Melting Potluck in lobby at 12:00 p.m.
  • September 21: Daily Hello, Hausa – Sannu, Immigration Lawyer from Ojo Law office available in lobby at 5:00 p.m.
  • September 22: Daily Hello, Finnish - Hei
  • September 23: Daily hello, Croatian - Zdravo

White Bear Area YMCA – 2100 Orchard Ln, White Bear Lake, MN 55110

  • September 14: Interactive “Where Am I From” map in lobby and Y team members share their immigration stories    
  • September 15: Welcoming Week Open House featuring bounce house, local law enforcement, youth activities, resume workshop, resource fair and Zumba class
  • September 18: The Refugee Experience with the International Institute of Minnesota from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Woodbury YMCA – 2175 Radio Dr, Woodbury, MN 55125

  • September 16: Interactive “Where Am I From” map in lobby    
  • September 19: International Cookie Day, sharing traditional cookies from different countries from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • September 21: Welcoming Week Open House, featuring music, food and community resource table from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

About the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Established 162 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across 12 counties of the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities. The 28 Y locations and program sites, seven overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 350,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds. To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit