City Commission affirms Kalamazoo as a welcoming city

On Monday, March 21, the Kalamazoo City Commission issued a proclamation affirming that the City of Kalamazoo is a Welcoming Community and respects the innate dignity of all people. You can read the proclamation below:

WHEREAS, the City of Kalamazoo has long been recognized as a hospitable and welcoming community, where people, families, and institutions thrive, and the contributions of all are celebrated and valued. Residents of the City of Kalamazoo live up to our highest American values of acceptance and equality, and treat newcomers with decency and respect, creating a vibrant community for all to live in; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Kalamazoo has long been home to immigrants from around the world, who come seeking opportunity, stability, prosperity, and a better life for their families. The City of Kalamazoo is home to immigrants who come from regions such as the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. The city’s diverse communities consist of first and second generation immigrants as well as African-Americans who have historically migrated from the southern United States; and,

WHEREAS, the Welcoming Kalamazoo Initiative aims to build cooperation, respect, and compassion among all in our community, including immigrants and non-immigrants alike; endeavors to create a more inclusive society, and seeks to embrace cultural, religious and ethnic diversity; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Kalamazoo community remembers, honors, and values our immigrant and migrant roots, and embraces the values of family, faith, and hard work; and,

WHEREAS, our city has greatly benefited from the addition of community members from all religious backgrounds, including those who have moved here in the past, who have become valued citizens, significantly contributing to the betterment of our community; and,

WHEREAS, our Muslim community, both native born and immigrant, is an integral part of Kalamazoo’s diversity, plurality, and of our growing multicultural identity, representing an increasingly important thread in the tapestry of American society; and,

WHEREAS, Muslims, inspired by their faith, give back every day as U.S. military personnel, police officers, doctors, nurses, caregivers, teachers, clergy, and in many other roles, contributing to the success of the United States of America and the City of Kalamazoo; and,

WHEREAS, there has been an increase in anti-Muslim and anti-immigration rhetoric among politicians and in the national media, with an increase of hate speech and violence targeting Muslim families and children across our nation, which is detrimental to all people who cherish safety, freedom and liberty; and

WHEREAS, such stereotyping and fear-mongering only leads to alienation and vicious, even deadly, acts of intolerance; and

WHEREAS, The City of Kalamazoo finds this anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate violence to be against American values of religious freedom and fairness and contrary to the vision we hold as a nation that welcomes all people; and

WHEREAS, Kalamazoo is a city that does not tolerate hate speech or hate crimes and all of Kalamazoo’s residents deserve to live in a safe environment free of hate and discrimination; and,

WHEREAS, recent demands seeking a ban on Muslims entering this country are unconscionable, and if carried forward, would constitute violations of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which is tragically reminiscent of prior historic racial and religious profiling; and,

WHEREAS, this country was founded on principles of plurality, freedom of religion, and freedom from religious persecution; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Kalamazoo wishes to extend the traditional Islamic greeting of “Peace be upon you” to all of its Muslim residents and visitors.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, Kalamazoo and its City Commissioners stand in support of our Muslim community, and call for an end to the continued use of anti-Muslim and anti-immigration hate speech; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Kalamazoo will continue to be a welcoming city to Muslims from all over the world, including immigrants and those fleeing from violence, persecution and injustice; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Kalamazoo is affirmed as a place where all foreign-born and native-born Americans can live, work, and play together; share in each other’s customs and ideals, and appreciate and promote cultural diversity. We urge residents and stakeholders of the Kalamazoo community to join with the efforts and spirit of the Welcoming Michigan Initiative and others to join in lifting up the City of Kalamazoo as a welcoming environment for all.


Bobby J. Hopewell,

City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.


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 (269) 337-8047
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 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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