Bellevue Library Welcoming Center & Enterprise Welcome Center
January 29, 2020 | 3:30-5:30p.m. | Bellevue Library
By: Samuel Rodriguez
A collection organizations that provide services to Bellevue-area communities came together to assess community needs and programs available.
Organizations present included: KCLS (King County Library System), Bellevue City Council, Business ImpactNW, Bellevue College, Ventures,
ACRS (Asian Counseling and Referral Service), Upwardly Global,
IAWW (India Association of Western WA),
BizDiversity, Ethnic Heritage Council, BDAN (Bellevue Diversity Advisory Network), ERIC (Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition) and Eastside For All.
The Welcoming Center at Bellevue Library Update
Connecting and creating a sense of belonging for both current library users and those that do not know about the library, to library and community resources and services, particularly for immigrants and newcomers.
Includes creating “pop-up” spaces and space being made available at the Bellevue library (using existing space).
Two Ambassadors have been hired, 5 hours per week (Spanish- and Chinese-speaking)
This is an extension of KCLS’s values and programming that are centered on welcoming and inclusion.
Kent was the first library. Ambassadors there were from Somali and Afghani communities. Based on needs, offered a drivers ed course that was culturally relevant.
Intention is to be more community driven. Cross-referral, wrap around approach to resources.
Flyers will be available soon so we can promote the Welcoming Center. April 26th, 2-5pm, Bellevue Library – big event Dia De Los Libros/Ninos – celebrating culture and literacy in all languages
- The work is in continuing to find the intersection between community needs and the programs/services.
- Online, one stop resource? Eastside For All’s Office for Equity and Advancement will have an Immigrant and Refugee Justice initiative that will house online resources. To make that a robust and effective tool for people. Even so, having the ambassadors is key – they can direct people to the best resources rather than people having to sift through information online or in a brochure.
- There are many immigrants who are unskilled, uneducated – need to be responsive to their needs as well.
- Is the Welcoming Center focused on City of Bellevue or greater Eastside? Tailoring to local community is important, and services will be open to all. There is a need for this in all communities.
- Bellevue College – United Way Benefits Hub – open to the community
- The Hangar in Kenmore – a model to explore, but it’s limited to nonprofits and our small businesses also need affordable space.
- Business community – more co-creation needed
- Bellevue College has many programs for broader community like the Center for Career Connections, which helps people tailor their resumes (and they have understanding about how to support immigrants). Walk in or call for an appointment. Lots of opportunities to partner with BC and use it as a resource (programs, services, and space).
- Designated space is really important. Builds trust, make impact.
Enterprise Welcome Center
The Enterprise Welcome Center (EWC) promotes local economic equity and advancement focused on the needs and strengths of communities that may lack access to the professional networks, financial resources, and knowledge required to build successful careers, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.
The Center brings expert knowledge and a wealth of resources together in popup locations – both for people wanting to start their own for-profit or nonprofit business and for those who need help moving from underemployment into strong professional careers. Our long-term goal is to have designated space as well.
Rooted in Welcoming Economies principles, the EWC is committed to ensuring equitable access to resources and true economic empowerment for communities. We do this by prioritizing relationships that benefit all of us professionally and personally, as well as an intercultural framework that centers the experiences, needs, and strengths of immigrants, people of color, and other communities that have traditionally been economically and socially marginalized.
This is an initiative supported by several organization (more to come), including Eastside For All. See Eastside For All’s website for related information on the Inclusive Economy (Eastside Office for Equity and Advancement) and Built for Belonging.
Summer Fair – we’re putting together a planning team to host a multilingual and multicultural event for small business owners, purpose-driven social entrepreneurs, nonprofits, business associations, and professionals seeking career development resources.
The Eastside Enterprise Resource Fair is open to all with an emphasis on information that will be particularly useful to immigrant entrepreneurs and professionals.
Multicultural Craft and Food Bazaar
Local Small Business Vendors
- Introduction to Starting a Business
- Starting a Nonprofit
- Career Support for Immigrant Professionals
Resources and Support
- Meet local nonprofit providers who serve entrepreneurs and international professionals.
- Join local business networks and associations
- Explore volunteer opportunities
- Bellevue School District and Student Groups – can students be engaged as volunteers for community service?
- Worksource – engage them in these efforts
- ACRS Employment Program helps connect people with Worksource.
- Al Lewis – Sapan will make an introduction; Business Transfer Program class – Multicultural Business Consulting works with small minority-owned businesses to help them scale/expand
- Bellevue Diversity Advisory Network (BDAN) – could present this info their for their input and support
- Cities – importance of making public statements (“We are an ICE cold city.”)
- Opportunity to engage older adults – wealth of expertise and skills
- Impact of federal policies and threats to immigrant communities; safety considerations are important
- 2nd Sunday 2-4pm, leadership gathering at Ethnic Heritage Council – focused on exploring nonprofit issues, particularly for event and office space; organizations like 4 Culture will help, but it can take a lot of effort/time to submit proposals – could we work collectively? Museum Mall concept – each culture rents a space to display their heritage, host events, also a workspace.
- Bellevue City Hall – meeting rooms – could pilot a Museum Mall concept if there were community input about it. (Rotating artwork, information.)
KCLS Welcoming Center and Enterprise Welcome Center Contact List
|ACRS (Asian Counseling and Referral Service)||Yong Limemail@example.com|
|BDAN (Bellevue Diversity Advisory Network) & Ethnic Heritage Council||Margie Yefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Bellevue City Council||Janice Zahnemail@example.com|
|Bellevue College||Katie Batesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Bellevue College||Sapan Parekhemail@example.com|
|Business Impact NW||Susan Perreault||SusanP@BUSINESSIMPACTNW.ORG|
|City of Bellevue||Elaine Acacio||EAcacio@bellevuewa.gov|
|City of Redmond||Alaric Bienfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Communities Rise||Maha Jarareyemail@example.com|
|Eastside for All & ERIC (Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition)||Debbie Lacyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|ELAP (Eastside Legal Assistance Program)||Esperanza Borboa||Esperanza@elap.org|
|Goodwill King County, JTE||George Gonzalez||George.Gonzalez@seattlegoodwill.org|
|IAWW (India Association of Western WA)||Lalita Uppalaemail@example.com|
|KCLS (King County Library System)||Jo Anderson Cavintafirstname.lastname@example.org|
|KCLS (King County Library System)||Hua Goldstein||ElizabethGold2816@hotmail.com|
|KCLS (King County Library System)||LeGrand Olsenemail@example.com|
|KCLS (King County Library System)||Maria Markfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|KCLS (King County Library System) & Bellevue School District (BSD)||Nahyeli Mendivilemail@example.com|
|Muslim Community Neighborhood Association (MCNA)||Mohamed Bakrfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Seattle Business Education Hub||Felix Ngoussouemail@example.com|
|Startup 425||Ellen Miller-Wolfefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Upwardly Global||Gitanjali Rawatemail@example.com|
|Washington DECA||Wendy Menchu-Lopezfirstname.lastname@example.org|