The Council of Canadians London chapter is helping to distribute multi-lingual ‘welcome neighbour’ signs
A local activist has posted on Facebook, “Speak out against Hate and Islamophobia. We must reach out to our Muslim Sisters and Brothers and let them know we support them. In London contact the Council of Canadians for a sign.”
The CBC has reported, “The signs are green, blue and orange – about the size of a small election poster – and declare: ‘No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbour’ in three languages, including Arabic. The signs have started appearing on lawns across southwestern Ontario, prominently popping up in the small town of Elmira, in the Township of Woolwich, just north of Waterloo.”
The article adds, “And it’s not just homeowners who are displaying the sign: it also appeared in front of Elmira District Secondary School late last week. Local Mennonite churches in Kitchener have started distributing signs in the area, explaining that the idea springs from a similar campaign run in Pennsylvania by a Mennonite church during the U.S. election.”
London-based journalist Larry Cornies has written in the London Free Press, “I’m heartened by those signs, first seen in rural Virginia and now proliferating across the U.S. and Canada, that declare, in English, Spanish and Arabic, ‘No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbour’. I’m heartened by city councillors such as London’s, who ask staff to look at the implications of declaring the municipality a ‘sanctuary city’.”
The Immanuel Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia has made a PDF of the sign available on their website here.
The church says, “Print your own poster for your front yard. Get a group of friends or your church together and get a local printer to make some for all of you. Join us in welcoming everyone to our communities. Make a statement in this time of division about our desire to be welcoming communities. Just download the PDF, and it is ready to print a 24″ X 18″ sign. Please keep the text as it is when you use this sign. We consider the sign to be creative commons, and we encourage people to print it. All proceeds from sales should go to a non-profit in your local community as another step in building a welcoming community. Please share where you posted the sign on this Facebook page.”
The Welcome Sign is available is numerous languages including Somali, Armenian, German, Hindi, Chinese and Amharic.
Those ready-to-print PDFs can be downloaded here.
The Council of Canadians rejects Islamophobia, anti-Muslim bigotry and racism – and supports inclusion, equality and diversity.