Across our newsfeeds, racism, xenophobia, and fear, often stirred by politicians and power-holding elites, are intended to fuel hostility toward people who join our communities. Rather than promoting constructive ideas and collaboration, these political tactics opportunistically prey on fears and vulnerabilities to draw support.

My own experience has taught me that we need to be welcoming if we want to thrive collectively.

For too long, public discourse has oscillated between two types of refugee narratives: those that depict them as dangerous people who take resources from us, or those that frame them as heroic and exceptionally talented contributors.

The truth is: all communities are dynamic. The good news is that we’re not limited to being reactive to our surroundings. Everyone has the power to make choices every day about how they show up for themselves, their neighbors, their colleagues, and society. It will take all of us to craft constructive narratives about families emanating from different corners of our beautiful planet. And a deliberate commitment to support refugees in our communities, as research shows they already do in their second homes. In the United States alone, the almost 2.4 million refugees earned a collective $93.6 billion in household income and contributed $25 billion in taxes, according to the American Immigration Council. That’s just one glimpse of their contributions, of their renewal stories, and there are many.

Isra, who left Sudan at a young age, dreams of going to university and studying social work. She envisions herself returning to Sudan to uplift others.

Abdelrahman, a talented student from the West Bank, finds solace in spreading joy through melodies that touch hearts. “When I sing, it feels like magic!”

Munjura, a Rohingya refugee in Bangladesh, prays daily for a brighter future for her newborn son—a life free from hardships.

Read the full article about welcoming refugees into our communities by Sandrina da Cruz at GlobalGiving.