Rural Narratives on Welcoming Communities

Teaching & Engagement, 2017


The team will use appreciative inquiry to interview community leaders about creating welcoming communities and work with partners to develop powerful narratives, provide access to resources and disseminate best practices.


The team began working with the Columbus Chamber of Commerce’s Engaging Diversity Committee to identify community leaders in Columbus. Between January and March of 2018, research team members contacted all identified potential participants and evaluated their interest in participating, ensured they met eligibility criteria, and scheduled the interview upon their agreement. 15 key informant interviews took place, with participants representing different sectors in the community, including business, education, healthcare, and social services. Once interviews and data collection were complete, the two graduate students developed a coding scheme and identified eight themes: acculturation strategies, assets of immigrants, collaborations, community development, historical development, opportunities, personal experience of migration and sense of community. Two abstracts have been accepted for poster presentation, and the team is in the process of developing a community fact sheet and report based on the study’s findings. These will be shared at an upcoming meeting with the Engaging Diversity Committee, as well as the study’s participants.


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Contact: Athena Ramos,