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Welcome to Shelbyville


Welcome to Shelbyville, a documentary about local officials and community members in a small town grappling with demographic shifts aired on PBS May 24, 2011.

Set against the backdrop of a shaky economy, Welcome to Shelbyville takes an intimate look at a Southern town and how local officials and residents – whites and African Americans, Latinos and Somalis – grapple with their beliefs, their histories and their evolving ways of life. Welcome to Shelbyville is directed and produced by Kim A. Snyder and executive produced by BeCause Foundation in association with Active Voice.

The Institute for Local Government is pleased to promote Welcome to Shelbyville as a resource for California local officials that face the challenges of governing diverse communities and are looking for ways to create more welcoming and integrated communities. The documentary has already spurred quite a buzz through a series of community screenings and conference presentations. The National League of Cities recently held a screening of webisodes from the documentary with more than 100 local leaders. To learn more about the PBS broadcast, visit:

The Institute for Local Government, working with Welcoming America, is also supporting welcoming immigrant initiatives with a substantial partnership role for local officials in Redwood City and the City of Oakley. To learn more about how local agencies in California can partner with multiple sectors to support a two-way immigrant integration process go to

The Institute for Local Government encourages cities and counties to submit stories of their own – video, photos, text and even audio – to document best practices across the state that support effective engagement and integration of recent immigrants into the civic and political life of California’s communities. To submit and share your agency’s public engagement story go to

Watch the full episode. See more Independent Lens.

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