Redwood City is a highly diverse community, with growing Latino immigrant populations. To help all community members foster empathy and understanding for each other’s unique challenges, we are working to provide opportunities for community members to get to know each other and work collaboratively. By building and recognizing efforts to include all community members, we are creating a more welcoming, inclusive environment for all who live, work and study in Redwood City.

Current Activities

  • Highlighting the diversity of our community and building connections among all people through art, culture, and conversations
  • Hosting community dialogues to share our unique stories
  • Creating avenues for participants to become welcoming leaders and collaborators
  • Hosting a “welcoming café” event with art and conversation to create empathy and action
  • Supporting youth development and empowerment through conferences and dialogues
  • Celebrating what makes us feel most welcome in Redwood City

Nominate a Welcoming Star!

Recognizing Redwood City Together Welcoming Stars!

Redwood City 2020 is proud to honor the following organizations for their commitment to creating a welcoming environment for all by building trust and mutual respect across communities in Redwood City and North Fair Oaks.

2018-19 Recipients

Casa Circulo Cultural

Casa Circulo Cultural provides creative, educational, and recreational opportunities for Hispanic families, while promoting Hispanic art, culture, and traditions. Through their various art programs for both youth and adults, Casa Circulo Cultural continuously promotes civic commitment to the immigrant community and builds cultural understanding. Learn more about Casa Circulo Cultural

Cañada College English as a Second Language (ESL) Department

The ESL Program at Cañada College started in the early 1970s to serve the immigrant population in the surrounding communities and the Cañada College Community Based English Tutoring Program (CBET) started in 2000 to teach ESL to parents of school age children. By providing ESL learning on campus and at various school sites in both Redwood City and North Fair Oaks, the Cañada College ESL Department prepares immigrants in the community to achieve their academic, vocational, and personal goals. Learn more about Cañada College English as a Second Language (ESL) Department.

2017-18 Recipients

International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA)

Welcoming immigrants, refugees and their families is the International Institute of the Bay Area’s mission. They offer immigration and naturalization legal services, citizenship preparation classes, and community education & outreach throughout Redwood City and North Fair Oaks. IIBA’s “Know Your Rights” presentations have been an important source of information for immigrant families. Learn more about the International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA)

Redwood City School District Community Schools

Redwood City Community Schools close the achievement gap by bridging communities and schools through innovative strategies and partnerships. Community Schools go beyond the classroom and school walls to address any and all issues that affect a child’s long-term success using a whole-child and whole family approach. Learn more about Redwood City School District Community Schools. Learn more about Redwood City School District Community Schools

Faith in Action Bay Area

Through leadership development, civic engagement, and community education, Faith in Action strives to overcome barriers to equity so that every person receives the respect, justice, dignity, and opportunity they deserve. Faith in Action runs a 24-Hour Hotline for the immigrant community to report any immigration enforcement operation and trains volunteers who act as “responders” to verify false alarms about ICE activity. Learn more about Faith in Action Bay Area. Learn more about Redwood City School District

Cañada College Dream Center

Guided by the belief that all students should have equitable access and opportunities for success, the Cañada College DREAM Center opened in 2016 as a resource center and safe space for undocumented students, community members, and allies. The center provides services including free legal consultations, scholarship and financial aid resources, art and writing workshops, peer mentoring, and a student club. Learn more about the Cañada College DREAM Center. Learn more about the Cañada College DREAM Center

2016-17 Recipients

Kainos Home and Training Center

Kainos Home and Training Center serves a diverse, inclusive population of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through residential, vocational, and senior day programs and services. This non-profit organization works with individuals, families, and the community with the powerful mission of enabling each individual they serve to maximize his or her potential while becoming active, contributing members of the community. Learn more about Kainos

Redwood City Public Library

The Redwood City Public Library inspires learning through innovative and visionary programming and services—literacy programs, support for school success, access to technology, safe, inviting spaces for youth and families, and gathering places that connect the members of the community with a love of reading and learning. Learn more about the Redwood City Public Library

Fair Oaks Community Center

The Fair Oaks Community Center also seeks to create community, providing facilities, personnel, and programs necessary to support and coordinate social services for the diverse populations within Redwood City and North Fair Oaks. These aim to educate and empower their community, serving as a bridge to resources for families and individuals who need them. Learn more about the Fair Oaks Community Center

Street Life Ministries

Street Life Ministries works with those who live on the streets, are addicted to drugs and alcohol, and/or are dealing with mental illness, by providing the homeless with meals and connecting those in need with the appropriate professional agencies to obtain support services. Learn more about Street Life Ministries

First Church, UCC

First Church, UCC has been present in Redwood City since 1862. They intentionally use their resources, space, and talent to support the Redwood City and the North Fair Oaks communities. They actively share their facility for free with other organizations, from non-profits and schools to other civic organizations, and have constantly been in partnership with other non-profit community partners due to their belief in the importance of building relationships. Learn more about First Church, UCC

2015-16 Recipients 

San Mateo County History Museum

The San Mateo County History Museum offers the Land of Opportunity exhibit which highlights the immigrant experiences of the largest immigrant groups who came to San Mateo County from 1850 to the present. This includes the Chinese, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Filipino, and Mexican populations. By celebrating the rich diversity across the history of San Mateo County, this exhibit helps to foster an environment where immigrants and newcomers feel welcome.  Learn more about the San Mateo County History Museum.

Siena Youth Center

The Siena Youth Center is a non-profit program within the St. Francis center which offers multi-service support to members of the community by providing essential services such as food, housing, clothing, and education. The Siena Youth Center offers three programs which focus on youth ages 10 to 17: the North Fair Oaks Youth Initiative, the Change Makers Program, and Trips for Kids Bulldog Riders Biking Program. Learn more about Siena Youth Center.

Coffee with Cops and Donuts with Deputies

The Coffee with Cops and Donuts with Deputies programs work to cultivate relationships between law enforcement and community members in an informal environment. In these settings, law enforcement and community members are able to discuss any concerns or issues, build personal connections, and establish trust and communication in a safe and open space.  Learn more about Coffee with Cops and Donuts with Deputies.

Sequoia High School Dream Club and the Immigrant Youth Action Team (IYAT)

The Sequoia High School Dream Club and Immigrant Youth Action Team do inspiring work in empowering undocumented students and their allies to be leaders in their communities, providing connections and resources, fundraising for higher education scholarships, and uniting the community behind its youth. To learn more about the Sequoia High School Dream Club, please visit their Facebook page.

About Welcoming Stars

Welcoming Stars recognizes programs in Redwood City and North Fair Oaks that model a remarkable commitment to creating a welcoming environment for all who live, work, study, and visit in our community and aims to create a welcoming network of cross-sector organizations and resources for the community. By celebrating and sharing the best and most effective programs in our community that are actively welcoming immigrants and newcomers in innovative and inspiring ways, Redwood City Together aims to amplify their impact and highlight best practices for others to implement in our community and beyond.


  • Initiative started in spring of 2012
  • Faces of the Community portraits opened in an exhibit in October 2012
  • Successful unveiling of powerful 6 word memoirs & silhouettes created by immigrant youth in November 2013
  • 2 youth empowerment conferences in 2014-2015 with 250 participants
  • 250+ participants in 10 dialogues in 2014-2015
  • 80+ participants in second annual Redwood City Community Dinner and Dialogue in January 2015
  • Redwood City Together is one of two official Welcoming America affiliates in California

Faces of Redwood City