Mpls. print shop finds warm embrace for 'Refugees Welcome' stickers

Mike Davis holds the sticker he designed
Burlesque of North America's Mike Davis holds his "Refugees Welcome" sticker, which has sold more than 10,000 copies.
Courtesy of Mike Davis

A Minneapolis business owner has started a sticker campaign in response to negative messages nationally about refugees and immigrant families.

Mike Davis runs the print shop Burlesque of North America. When he heard more than half of the nation's governors rejected plans to resettle Syrian refugees, Davis partnered with friends, and published square stickers with the words: "Refugees Welcome."

"We thought we would end up passing out just a few to friends and family, but right out of the gate the response was huge," he said.

In the last few weeks, Davis said he gave the first 2,500 stickers away at no charge, then sold about 7,500 more in packs of 4 for $2, or packs of 20 for $5. Davis said he's received thank-you messages from across the United States, and as far away as France, Australia and Sweden.

"There are a lot of assumptions being made about refugees based on what people might have heard in the news, or seen online on some Facebook meme. We want people to see the stickers and ask business owners what they mean," he said. "I think that's a really great first step towards understanding and acceptance."

Correction (Dec. 30, 2015): An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported how the 10,000 stickers were distributed. Mike Davis said the first 2,500 stickers were given away at no charge, then he sold about 7,500 in packs of 4 for $2, or packs of 20 for $5. He said proceeds from sales will be donated to the United Nations' refugee agency.

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