September 18, 2018

“Build The Wall” has long been a mantra of the nationalist, anti-immigration movement in the US. But Dallas-based agency Richards/Lerma has turned a symbol of divisiveness into a way to welcome immigrants and visitors to Dallas through Welcome Walls. The first Welcome Wall installation was revealed today at Dallas Love Field Airport, filled with handwritten notes from everyday Dallas residents with messages of welcome to immigrants as reminders of the Golden Rule, to treat each other as we want to be treated. The Welcome Wall was unveiled at 9:00 a.m., Friday, September 14 by The Honorable Mike Rawlings, Mayor of the City of Dallas; His Excellency Dr. Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah, Ghana’s Ambassador to the U.S.; and Bill Keffler, Chief Operating Officer of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.

The Welcome Walls are part of the #BeGolden campaign, created by Richards/Lerma for the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, in partnership with Belo Media Group. This year-long campaign officially kicked off this past Spring by turning the famous Dallas skyline lights gold. Since then, the #BeGolden initiative has united civic, business, education and faith groups around The Golden Rule to improve the way we welcome immigrants to the community. #BeGolden has created experiences like the Welcome Wall and participated in other city-wide and interfaith events that are highlighted on the web site and on #BeGolden Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“By embracing Dallas’ rich diversity and standing in unity, we are building a foundation for a stronger, more socially cohesive and economically competitive city for the next generation,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “We’re excited about this opportunity to spread the word about the #BeGolden campaign. I’m proud that Dallas Love Field is the first location of this Welcome Wall, which will be seen by more than 30,000 travelers every day and serve as a reminder to treat one another with kindness.”

“This cause that is near and dear to our hearts.” Said Pete Lerma, Founder & Principal of Richards/Lerma. “Our team has been extremely passionate about working on this campaign since the beginning of the year, and we’re committed to keep working hard to spread this message. We’re excited other cities like Louisville (Kentucky) and Houston have adopted #BeGolden and are starting to implement it in their communities.”

To show support of #BeGolden, organizations were invited to build additional Welcome Walls at other public and business sites around Dallas, which will include one to be erected at Thanksgiving Square on Friday, September 21. In addition, the #BEGOLDEN Welcome Wall installation kicks off to the City of Dallas Welcome Week 2018 (September 12-22) sponsored by the Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrants Affairs.


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