Monday March 13, 2006
WASHINGTON, DC – The National League of Cities today named Louisville winner of its City Cultural Diversity Award. The League’s National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials administers the award and selected Louisville in the over 400,000 population category.
"As our country’s population grows more and more diverse, it’s the cities that embrace our international neighbors that will grow stronger," said Mayor Jerry Abramson. "That’s why we’ve made celebrating diversity and culture a priority, with our Office for International Affairs coordinating city government’s efforts to foster a welcoming community."
The Office for International Affairs (OIA) connects international newcomers to community resources and information through a number of outreach, advocacy, awareness and referral programs. OIA works closely with the mayor’s office, Louisville Free Public Library, Metro Development Authority, the police, neighborhoods, health departments and many other agencies.
"Our mission is to promote Louisville as a culturally diverse city, where international residents, students, tourists and other visitors feel welcomed, recognized and appreciated," said Omar Ayyash, OIA director.
The award was presented at a breakfast ceremony today at the Washington Hilton, as part of the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference.
Over the past 15 years, immigrants and refugees account for more than 50 percent of Louisville’s total population growth. Currently more than 80 languages are spoken in the Jefferson County Public Schools.
For more information on Louisville’s efforts to support diversity, search under keyword "International" on the city’s website, LouisvilleKy.gov, or call MetroCall 311.