Office of Community Partnerships

Mission

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  to read about County Executive Marc Elrich's vision for a more equitable and inclusive Montgomery County.


OCP Statement on the National Crisis

Working to Create a New Normal

The Montgomery County Office of Community Partnerships exists to strengthen relationships between all entities of the County government and the people it serves.   Our primary vision is to increase engagement and build partnerships with underserved and emerging communities and to support all our neighbors in need.  Our staff liaisons mirror those we serve by our diversity in race, ethnicity, and faith, yet united in our mission.  
 
Our hearts have been broken as we struggle with the deadly impact of COVID-19 that has impacted people of color far out of proportion to their numbers.  Now, yet again, our nation is convulsed with grief and anger due to the senseless loss of a black man's life at the hands of those who are here to protect us. This is not new...it began in 1619, even before the founding of America.  We are witnessing our national brokenness that has caused unnecessary deaths by COVID-19 and even more tragically the deaths of Black Americans by police.  
 
We stand with those shouting, "Black Lives Matter," and "Enough is Enough."  In  Montgomery County, we are fortunate to work with police departments committed to  understanding the cultural, mental, and emotional challenges  many in our communities face.  Our liaisons serve the African Community, African American Community, Asian Community, Caribbean Community, Latino Community, Middle Eastern Community, and Faith Community.  Our team includes the Gilchrist Immigration Resource Center and the Montgomery County Volunteer Center.  
 
We are working today not to return to normal, but to create a new normal.  We are doing it by working collaboratively with our Advisory Groups, County officials, nonprofit partners, and volunteers leading interfaith services of mourning and solidarity; translating resources, including food, health, emergency assistance, housing and employment opportunities, into multiple languages; coordinating volunteers serving their neighbors; coordinating and personally delivering food; working towards a full and accurate count of everyone in Montgomery County; facilitating youth sharing their stories across lines of faith, race, and ethnicity; planning follow-up dialogues on Facing Our Racism; and working hard to ensure our county systems are able to respond and serve our multicultural and multilingual communities.
 
The Office of Community Partnerships believes there is opportunity in crisis and we meet every morning, six or seven days of the week, to identify where and how we may have a greater impact and to strengthen our resolve in creating a more just, compassionate, equitable, inclusive, healthy, and resilient community.  The cries from across America today remind us of the preciousness of every life, and the importance of working together for a new normal in which the words "liberty and justice for all" ring true.
 
We invite  you to contact us personally if you think we can be of assistance. Please also call the Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center at 240-777-4940 if you or someone you know needs referrals to services, and if you want to help or get involved, contact the Volunteer Center.  May we be united in celebrating our common goals and aspirations, while we mourn the dead and honor them through recommitted human service.  

Census 2020

After 22 months of census activity and outreach, a roller coaster of deadlines and legal battles, Montgomery County had a tremendous response rate. We finished with a self-response rate of 78%, 1.9% above our self-response rate in 2010. We are the most populous jurisdiction in Maryland and we were key to the state finishing at #9 in the nation. Our goal was #10.  Congratulations Montgomery County and thank you to everyone who was involved!

www.montgomerycountymd.gov/census

Census 2020 Montgomery County logo

County Government Information

10/05/2020 - Executive Order Suspends MPIA Deadlines until 30 days after Maryland's State of Emergency for COVID-19 is terminated.

COVID-19 - Corona Virus - Updates and Links to Volunteer and Donation Requests

See up to date information from Montgomery County on COVID-19 page
COVID-19 Closures and Service Modifications in Montgomery County
Find information on volunteering and donating for COVID-19 on Montgomery County Volunteer Center website
Gilchrist Center facilities are closed but phone lines remain open. 

Joint Statement from County Executive Marc Elrich and Council President Nancy Navarro on Immigrant Support

on Friday, July 12, 2019 - CLICK HERE TO SEE STATEMENT IN SPANISH - EN ESPAÑOL

Montgomery County is a welcoming community that values the diversity of communities which are made up of people from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and nations. Recently, there have been numerous reports that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal authorities will engage in raids or round ups of immigrants in coming days.  These reports are, once again, causing concern, fear and disruption in our communities. Unfortunately, these threats have become routine for the Trump administration, so it is important that people know their  civil rights in these situations.

These reports make it more difficult for local law enforcement departments to build trust with the people they are charged to serve and protect. We want the people of Montgomery County to know that our law enforcement and other support agencies will continue to follow local laws, rules and regulations. As a matter of policy, we do not inquire about anyone's immigration status to support immigration enforcement, nor do we conduct immigration raids or investigations.  It's also important to know that the Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation does not accept individuals into custody from ICE and it does not detain individuals beyond their release date. We also encourage residents to seek help from organizations that provide legal assistance and advice so individuals will know their rights if they are stopped or detained by ICE.

Each day County leaders are working together to make Montgomery County a more equitable and inclusive community. The president’s statements are counter to our vision and seek to erode all the work we have done, and are doing, to build trust in immigrant communities and to make our diverse County the most inclusive jurisdiction in the country. We cannot, and we will not, let this trust be destroyed.

Immigration Resources and Information

The County's tradition of building and maintaining a safe and inclusive community for our residents is a core value. Consequently, we have been working hard to provide resources for and answers to the many questions from our concerned community about immigration issues. Click on the links below to access the following useful information, and check back for updates. Visit the Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center for more information and resources. 

Immigration Information & Resources Handout in English in Spanish

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs: in English  and in  Spanish 

Montgomery County Immigration Legal Service Providers List : Chart containing information on Montgomery County Immigration Legal Service Providers.

Quick Start Guide for Immigrants in Montgomery County (available in  multiple languages)

Montgomery County Legal Immigration Service Providers Directory (April 2017)  (additional resources available through HIAS, a refugee resettlement agency, at  www.HIAS.org)


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


Montgomery County Census Outreach Activities

CE Elrich at Census Outreach activities

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and Council President Nancy Navarro signed a joint proclamation launching United States 2020 Census outreach activities in Montgomery County. Navarro is also serving as the chair of the Complete Count Committee of Montgomery. The Census Bureau's goal is to provide a complete and accurate count of the entire population every 10 years. The count officially begins on April 1, 2020. The Census Bureau's primary mission is conducting the U.S. Census every 10 years, which allocates the seats of the U.S. House of Representatives to the states based on their population and influences the allocation of federal funds each year. This helps states and local jurisdictions make informed decisions such as where to build and maintain schools, hospitals, transportation infrastructure, and public safety departments. Montgomery County's theme for the 2020 integrated partnership and communications campaign is "Everyone Counts in Montgomery." The Office of Community Partnerships is leading the County's 2020 Census outreach efforts to ensure an accurate, fair and inclusive count . To read more about the announcement, click here .  Stay up-to-date with our activities by making sure you are receiving our monthly newsletters or by checking the Montgomery County website.

Montgomery Serves Awards

This annual event, brought to us by the Fund for Montgomery and its generous contributors, allows us to celebrate the service 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 the County Executive.  The Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award recognizes a lifetime of volunteer service by people age 60 and better.  The Montgomery Serves Awards recognize volunteers of the year in four categories - individual, youth, group, and business. 

Find more information and links to this year's winners and past honorees on the  Volunteer Center website

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  www.montgomeryserves.org. 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  www.worldofmontgomery.com.   


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.

 

 


Advisory Groups

CE Elrich with Advisory groups


Members of the African, African American, Asian, Caribbean, Latino, and Middle Eastern Advisory Groups are appointed by the CE to ensure that the county executive is well informed of and able to act effectively in responding to the needs and concerns of the county's diverse communities, and to work collaboratively with government, nonprofits, and community organizations in creating an inclusive, equitable and welcoming county. For more information about these groups and others, including contacts to learn about activities and meeting schedules, click here  or check the most recent Office of Community Partnerships newsletter available here

 


Access for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Individuals

Do you (or someone you know) need access to Montgomery County government services, but have limited English proficiency? Find out about mandated language policies and resources throughout county departments.   Go to Montgomery County's LEP Website 


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 Cities Montgomery 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.
 
See the 2009 - 2018 Report to the Community

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"
PDF version of presentation
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