LEWISTON — The Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence will host Advice for America, a national conference looking at what Lewiston and Auburn have learned since 2000 about fostering relationships between residents and newcomers. It is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29, at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College.

For 10 years, Lewiston and Auburn have garnered national interest in the cities’ refugee resettlement story. This month, the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence will launch a three-year national initiative that will honor the steps that the Twin Cities have taken to reduce local tensions and promote understanding across diverse populations.

With a recent funding award from the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement, the New Migration Project will share lessons from Lewiston-Auburn with community leaders in 10 cities across the country, including Boise, Idaho, Fort Wayne, Ind., Frederick, Md., and Manchester, N.H.

At the inaugural event, participants will learn more about the national project, and will be encouraged to reflect on the community’s transformation and what advice professionals would give their counterparts in the other cities. Representatives from a cross-section of institutions are encouraged to attend, including government, business, social services, ethnic-led organizations, education, employment, health care and housing.

According to project director Cheryl Hamilton, an Auburn native, “Lewiston-Auburn residents who have worked to strengthen community relationships throughout the past decade deserve to be celebrated nationally. Their knowledge and experience will benefit community leaders across the country. At the same time, Lewiston-Auburn will benefit from hearing strategies from other states as the center continues to work with our local partners to ensure safety for all residents.”

The Advice for America conference is free. Interested professionals and residents should register by Jan. 22 by calling 207-780-4756 or e-mailing [email protected]

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