A campaign to promote inclusivity and bring awareness to racial, religious, and ethnic discrimination will launch in Sarnia-Lambton this week.

The Sarnia-Lambton Local Immigration Partnership (SLLIP) will launch the #AllAreWelcomeHere campaign on Wednesday, May 26.

“Lambton County has served as a safe and welcoming home to new residents and visitors alike for over a hundred years,” said SLLIP Project Coordinator Stephanie Ferrera. “It is our vision to create an environment where people from all over the world feel as safe and welcome here as generations before them.”

SLLIP has partnered with over 30 organizations for the campaign, including the Centre Communautaire Francophone de Sarnia. President Tanya Tamilio said the campaign includes different phases, the first of which involves residents putting up #AllAreWelcomeHere lawn signs.

“We were lucky enough to receive a few different pots of grants, one of which is from the Government of Canada. It was a grant to promote diversity in our area,” said Tamilio. “We do have 750 [lawn] signs at the moment that are available that are free of charge.”

Tamilio also said vinyl stickers will be available for local business owners to display on their store-front windows.

The #AllAreWelcomeHere campaign was originally created by the London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership in 2017. Tamilio said they had discussed doing the campaign in Sarnia-Lambton for about a year and the London-Middlesex branch was more than willing to help.

“We have seen the positive outcomes that it has [had] on London in terms of reaching out to newcomers and to new immigrants,” she said. “They were more than happy to share their campaign so we basically mimicked it.”

The #AllAreWelcomeHere signs are part of a larger campaign that will launch in the Fall. Throughout the year, Tamilio said posts will be shared online that carry the theme of inclusivity and by September, they’re hoping to create a webpage dedicated to the “1000 Acts of Welcome” campaign.

Using the hashtag #AllAreWelcomeHere, residents are encouraged to share acts of kindness shown throughout the community.

In addition to creating awareness about prejudice and discrimination, Tamilio said promoting the region as a welcoming community may also attract people to the area and boost the population.

Residents interested in obtaining a sign can call one of the three locations listed below. Tamilio said lawn signs will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce
(519) 336-2400
556 Christina St N, Sarnia

Centre Communautaire Francophone de Sarnia
(519) 541-0207
3-901 the Rapids Parkway, Sarnia

Tourism Sarnia-Lambton
(519) 336-3232
1455 Venetian Blvd, Point Edward