What works to build welcoming and inclusive communities?

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Evidence Summary
March 2021

Numerous interventions to build welcoming and inclusive communities are available, with varying degrees of evidence of effectiveness.

  • Strong evidence supports the effectiveness of structured, facilitated contact-based interventions and bystander interventions in reducing ethnic prejudice and improving well-being of people targeted by racism. Suggestive evidence specific to foreign-born groups is consistent with these findings.
  • Strong evidence supports the effectiveness of child and youth programs in reducing prejudice toward outgroups in general. However, suggestive evidence specific to foreign-born groups finds mixed results.
  • Moderate and suggestive evidence indicates that message framing impacts attitudes toward refugees and immigrants.
  • Suggestive evidence indicates that employer-based and law enforcement interventions may promote welcoming and inclusive communities for immigrants.
  • Suggestive evidence further indicates that intentional community efforts promote welcoming and inclusion.

The evidence has clear implications for practice and research.

  • Contact-based and bystander interventions appear most promising for building welcoming and inclusive communities.
  • Child and youth interventions appear promising but require further evaluation.
  • Messaging that draws on race-neutral shared values, such as fairness and prosperity for all, can create support for welcoming and inclusion.
  • Employers, law enforcement, and other community actors should be engaged in welcoming and inclusion coalitions.
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