The Borough of State College is joining a national campaign encouraging others to be more inclusive towards immigrants.

To kick off Welcoming Week, the Borough co-hosted an Immigration and Equity Summit Monday evening.

“I grew up watching my family go through the immigrant journey and struggle, and I witnessed and experienced that struggle,” Shanjida Chowdhury, Student at Penn State Law Clinic for Immigrant’s Rights Clinic, said.

Immigrants and first generation Americans, like Shanjida, who’s family is from Bangladesh, spoke about that struggle, and how we as a community need to stand up for immigrant rights.

“The rhetoric around immigration right now is very polarizing, especially with the changing political landscape, so I think it’s very important for immigrant’s rights and immigration policies and kind of knowledge to be disseminated  throughout the public and the community,” she said.

Longtime State College resident, Charles Dumas, said the State College Borough leadership does a great job of embracing diversity.

“If you have leadership that’s saying they’re welcome and they’re doing what they can to make sure that the welcome mat is out and I’m very proud of that,” Dumas said.

After Monday’s summit, State College Mayor Don Hahn signed a proclamation declaring September Hispanic Heritage Month in State College.