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About Us

About The Welcome Project

Somerville's leading immigrant organization, The Welcome Project builds the collective power of immigrants to participate in and shape community decisions. 

We are based at the Mystic Public Housing Development, and we work with immigrants throughout the Greater Boston Region. Our efforts combine services, leadership development and opportunities for civic engagement -- from our interpreter training program for bilingual youth (Liaison Interpreter Program of Somerville or LIPS) to English Classes that help adult learners to navigate a new culture and community  and our Summer Youth "Culture Camp." Explore these pages to learn more.

Our Mission

Somerville's leading immigrant organization, The Welcome Project builds the collective power of immigrants to participate in and shape community decisions. Through programming that strengthens the capacity of immigrant youth, adults and families to advocate for themselves and influence schools, government, and other institutions.


Our History

The Welcome Project is a community-based organization that began in the Mystic Public Housing Development in Somerville, Massachusetts in 1987, following state mandated racial integration of the development.

As new residents were arriving from Haiti, Central America, Viet Nam and other parts of the world, many were victims of discrimination and harassment where they were most vulnerable: at home. The founders of The Welcome Project, a dedicated group of tenants and community members, came together to help support and empower these new residents.

For over thirty years, The Welcome Project has evolved to work with the immigrant community throughout the city, while continuing to be closely linked with Mystic Housing residents. Our overarching goal since the beginning has been to strengthen Somerville's community life by encouraging equitable access to the city's social and economic resources. In 1987, this goal was specifically linked to supporting the safe integration of the development.

Today, The Welcome Project provides programs for immigrant and lower-income families that hone leadership and personal development, provide access to employment and education, help residents to learn English and the nuances of a new culture and engage more fully in the civic life of the city.


Our Staff

Walter Mena

Executive Director


Director of Family Education and Community Engagement

Sara Lodgen
Warren Goldstein-Gelb

Program Advisor

Grant Sabean

Director of Development and Marketing

S. Aram Guptill

Senior Director of Multilingual Education

Emilio Cruz

Director, Somerville Workers Center

Suany Lima

Executive Administrative Assistant

Smirline Jacques

Youth Programs Coordinator

Our Board

Jessica Galimberti


jessica galimberti.jpg
Lutanuis Renaudin

Vice President

Martin Cawsey


Susan Ostrander headshot.JPG
Susan Ostrander
Laura Brooks
Min Ma headshot .jpg
Min Ma
Tim Groves


Georgiana Chevry
Angie Mejia
Bob Dempkowski

Board Committees

Executive Committee

  • Jessica Galimberti (President)

  • Tim Groves​ (Vice President)

  • Martin Cawsey (Treasurer)

Program Committee

  • Min Ma (Chair)

  • Susan Ostrander

Fundraising Committee

  • Susan Ostrander (Chair)

  • Laura Brooks

  • Tim Groves

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