The United States is a nation of immigrants, and immigration continues to shape and strengthen the economy of our country. Throughout its history, the United States has become a beacon of opportunity to all people. IN the mid-1800’s, the Irish migrated to this country for a better life. In the early 1900’s, Polish Italian, Jews, and Asians joined the Irish in the pursuit of better economic opportunities followed by other groups, including Hispanics, in the late 1900’s. Our diversity has long been considered a national asset and an important element of the unique American identity. Empowering Grand Rapidians to understand and participate in our democratic process of government benefits the whole.
Grand Rapids continues to attract Grand Rapidians to be part of our community. As the Mayor of the City of Grand Rapids, I am proud of the diversity reflected within our population. This growth is reflected within the student base of a key partner in our community. Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) serves nearly 17,000 students, representing 55 countries with 54 different languages spoken.
Your local government, not-for profits, and business community are aware of this growth and embrace the riches it adds to our community. OurCity Academy Program is a new program being designed and implemented with key partners to empower Grand Rapidians to understand and participate in our democratic process and learn about services available to all members of our community.
Grand Rapids is known worldwide for the contributions made to elevate and celebrate diversity. OurCity Academy Program reflects the commitment to our shared values and belief that excellence is best achieved through diversity.
Upon graduation, OurCity Academy participants will be able to help others navigate successfully through our community and make contributions to ensure we continue to be greatest city in our Nation.
Mayor, City of Grand Rapids