Welcome banners in 8 different languages added Downtown

13 News at Six
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 6:24 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Downtown Topeka added some new banners Wednesday, August 3, to make the community more inclusive.

Downtown Topeka Inc. added multiple banners along Kansas Ave. that say “welcome” in eight different languages, including Spanish, English, Arabic, Mandarin, Hindi, Potawatomi, Ukrainian, and German.

According to Rhiannon Friedman, the president of Downtown Topeka Inc., the organization selected the languages by looking at what the most commonly spoken languages are in our area and then picked the top eight. Friedman also says the project was a community group effort.

“This was really an idea that was brought together by our marketing team and then our chief equity officer, Glenda Washington, was right there to support us in it,” Friedman said. “We were able to work with native speakers in the Topeka area to make sure that we were checking that all the languages were appropriately translated, so it was great to get to meet new people in the community.”

DTI saw this as a way to bring more inclusiveness to the community and show support for its businesses.

“As we open up more businesses downtown, Olive Café, the Mediterranean restaurant, we’ve got The Globe down here, so we are just trying to be inclusive and welcoming to all different languages and I hope that those restaurant owners see this and feel welcomed to know they are supported in downtown,” said Friedman.

The banners will be up year-round, except during holidays or special events.

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