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 Office of Community Partnerships


The mission of the Office of Community Partnerships (OCP) is to strengthen relationships between the Montgomery County government and the residents it serves, with special focus on underserved and emerging communities and our neighbors in need. The OCP serves as a bridge builder between the County government and community organizations serving the residents of Montgomery County, working across the barriers of race, ethnicity, income, and religion that too often diminish communities. OCP's mission is to carry out the County Executive's commitment to build a larger policy table with participation by a more diverse range and greater number of residents as we work to become America’s most welcoming community.

Click  here for a roster of OCP staff and responsibilities to help you find the person who can best help you.
Click  here for bios of and contact information of the OCP staff.
Click here for OCP Welcoming Framework
Click  here for a 2014 Montgomery Community Media interview with former OCP director Bruce Adams.

Office of Community Partnerships Monthly Newsletter

Click here to see a copy of the most recent monthly newsletter of the Office of Community Partnerships. Please click   here  to subscribe to the OCP newsletter as well as the Volunteer Center's newsletter. Please click   here  to go to the archives for previous OCP newsletters. You may also subscribe to the Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity's newsletter here


Updated FAQ on Immigration Information - English - this one updated 1/17/18! 
FAQ on Immigration Information - Español

Working Hard to Answer Community Questions

Our nonprofit partners serving Montgomery’s immigrant communities are getting lots of questions from worried residents. In December 2016, Cindy Kim of our Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center prepared a Community Guide to begin to answer questions and provide basic Know Your Rights information. On February 8, 2017, Office of Community Partnerships’ (OCP) liaisons Diane Vu and Nestor Alvarenga convened a meeting of stakeholders designed to provide guidance and make sure we were hearing all the important questions. On February 27, 2017, HHS Director Uma Ahluwalia convened a providers meeting to help develop a community preparedness response toolkit. From the questions we are hearing from the community and our discussions with stakeholders, Diane Vu has updated the Gilchrist Center’s December guide into a new document: “ Immigration Information & Resources for Providers: Frequently Asked Questions.” Click here to see the new FAQ Guide in English .  Click here to see FAQ Guide in Spanish

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and the members of the Montgomery County Council issued a joint statement on January 30, 2017 to reaffirm the County’s tradition of building and maintaining a safe and inclusive community for our residents – the core values that have made Montgomery special. View the joint statement here: English Español

Montgomery County Legal Immigration Service Providers Directory

Montgomery County Legal Immigration Service Providers Directory
 comprehensive information on legal service providers in Montgomery County including intake times, costs, contact info (note: directory is being updated to include HIAS, a refugee resettlement agency standing for a world in which refugees find welcome, safety, and freedom. HIAS provides free legal services for asylum and SIJS cases in the Maryland area. More info available here:

Montgomery Serves Awards

This annual event, brought to us by the Fund for Montgomery and its generous contributors, allows us to celebrate the servant leaders and community volunteers who make Montgomery County special. The Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award, our local version of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is presented by County Executive Leggett. The Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award recognizes a lifetime of volunteer service by people age 60 and better. The Montgomery Serves Award recognizes volunteers of the year in four categories - individual, youth, group, and business. 

Find more information and links to past honorees on the Volunteer Center website

Honorees at the Montgomery Serves Awards in April 2018
Photo of 2017 MSA Honorees

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King day image
Make this annual holiday a Day ON, not a Day off.  See opportunities to volunteer at You are also invited to attend the annual  Birthday Tribute and Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr held at The Music Center at Strathmore.

World of Montgomery Festival

WOMF parade photoThe tenth annual World of Montgomery Festival was held on Sunday October 21, 2018 on the Rockville campus of Montgomery College. On a windy Fall afternoon, 7,000 people were treated to traditional arts, music, dance, and food from every corner of the globe. Again this year, the Kid Museum and event organizer Elizabeth Gallauresi produced an opportunity for Montgomery residents young and old to feel what it means to be a 21st century global citizen. The theme was light, and the festival showcased the countries and cultures of Montgomery County's Sister Cities in El Salvador, Ethiopia, China, and India. 

The festival was sponsored by Montgomery County, City of Rockville, Montgomery College, MCPS, Carl M. Freeman Foundation, Comcast, PEPCO, Southern Management, Verizon, and other sponsors of the Fund for Montgomery. 

The World of Montgomery Festival is held each year in October to celebrate the rich diversity of our community through international music, food, dance, hands-on activities, and more.  
For more information visit   

Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center

Gilchrist Center 15 year image
The Charles W. Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center is Montgomery County's official welcome center for immigrants and newcomers and offers a variety of programs and services to the Montgomery County Community. For more information, visit the Immigrant Resource Center website where you will find links to "Community Guide for Immigrant residents of Montgomery County" as well as "Quick Start Guide for Immigrants in Montgomery County in multiple languages.

Welcoming Our New Neighbors Resources Guide

Cover of How Faith Communities Can Welcome New Neighbors Resource Guide

Our world is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with millions of refugees and immigrants fleeing persecution and violence.  People living with fear and anxiety are becoming defensive and assuming extremist   positions.  In response, the Faith Community Advisory Council has developed this do-it-yourself guide for faith communities in Montgomery County to Welcome Our New Neighbors. Here are ways people may connect     with the heart of their faith, learn about the needs of their neighbors, and work with nonprofits and government agencies to make Montgomery County the most welcoming county in America.  

Montgomery Sister Cities

Sister CitiesMontgomery Sister Cities helps connect our county with the countries of origin of our residents. By enriching our understanding of the cultures and economies of the home countries of our neighbors, we are helping to build America’s most welcoming community while positioning ourselves for success in the global marketplace of the twenty-first century.
Through educational, cultural, and economic exchanges, we are building a stronger community here at home and preparing our youth to become global citizens of the twenty-first century. Please help us strengthen our partnerships with communities around the world by joining Montgomery Sister Cities. For more information or to join, please visit our  website

See presentation: "Bruce’s Excellent Adventures Exploring the World of Montgomery: A Tour of Montgomery County’s Five Sister Cities 2010-2019: Morazán, El Salvador; Gondar, Ethiopia; Xi’an, China; Hyderabad, India; and Daejeon, South Korea"
Link to PDF version of presentation   Link to AUDIO version of presentation

Gondar, Ethiopia - A Montgomery County Sister Cities Journey 2019 Video
Join members of the Montgomery County, Maryland Sister Cities delegation on a journey to Gondar, Ethiopia. Experience the wonders of a country rich in culture and history. Feel the rhythmic beat of ancient drums, chants, dancing as the travelers make their way on this goodwill Sister Cities mission and journey. 
Joy C. West, Filmmaker

Executive Order Signing - LEP

Isiah Leggett signing Executive Order

Isiah Leggett signs Executive Order (046-10) titled, "Access to Government Services for Individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)."
The executive order recognizes the diversity within Montgomery County, citing that one in three Montgomery County residents speaks a language other than English and one in seven is considered LEP.

Go to Montgomery County's LEP Website

Sustainable Community Food System Initiative

sustainable community food system

Montgomery County is perfectly positioned to create the nation's model sustainable community food system. We have the agricultural reserve. We have the necessary agricultural, entrepreneurial, environmental, and marketing talents in abundance. We have an immigrant workforce as yet largely untapped for agriculture. We have a huge market crying out for healthy, locally produced food. We are making progress on progressive policies like the farm incubator. All we need to do is to start working together toward a shared and larger vision.
On December 20, 2010, eighty-six stakeholders held a three hour community conversation at Montgomery County 's Agricultural History Farm Park where this work was begun. For further details about the meeting, check out the links below:
Resource Paper prepared by Andy Lowy (Summer 2010)
Members of the Sustainable Community Food System Network
Summary of December 20, 2010 Stakeholder Meeting and Vision and Key Elements
Gallery of Pictures from the December 20th, 2010 Conversation
Video Highlights from the December 20th, 2010 Conversation




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