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June is Immigrant Heritage Month and Here’s What You Need to Know

 

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June is Immigrant Heritage Month, and business leaders, artists, elected officials, and entrepreneurs are coming together from around the country to celebrate the important contributions of immigrants to our nation. Organizations are collaborating throughout the month to bring Immigrant Heritage Month festivities to new audiences across a range of platforms, helping to engage more individuals and highlight more stories than ever before.

“Immigrant Heritage Month is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate that immigration has always been an incredible source of strength and to celebrate our shared immigrant heritage,” said Facebook CEO and FWD.us Founder Mark Zuckerberg. “The important contributions that immigrants have made and will continue to make are a foundation for our nation and strong communities.”

Immigrant Heritage Month 2017 also features new merchandise, digital tools like a social media profile picture filter, and a series of pop-up shops and events held across the country from New York City to Los Angeles and San Francisco. A full schedule of programming is available here on the newly redesigned website IAmAnImmigrant.com.

As part of the celebration in New York, “I Am An Immigrant” hosted a pop-up store in Tribeca on June 2 and 3, in what was the first of a series of events around the country to celebrate and lift up the critical contributions of immigrants in our communities.   Thousands descended upon the pop-up over the weekend to share powerful stories of immigrants in America, and to listen to panel discussions on culture and heritage. Celebrities participated in photo shoots, including Javier Muñoz (who plays the lead role of Alexander Hamilton in Broadway’s “Hamilton”), Piper Perabo, Ana Villafañe and comedian Dean Obeidallah, among others. Muñoz also spoke at a panel event Saturday evening on the importance of culture work around immigrant rights.

Also new to Immigrant Heritage Month this year is the “I Stand With Immigrants” campaign, a brand new initiative that provides avenues for allies to stand in solidarity with their immigrant employees, colleagues, constituents, neighbors, and friends. “I Stand With Immigrants” asks Americans to take meaningful action in support of immigrants, to share stories of the crucial ways that diverse communities enrich our society, and to join a growing coalition across the country to proclaim proudly that they stand with immigrants. One way for individuals to participate is to share their family’s immigrant story online using the hashtag #IStandWithImmigrants.

Celebrities from all walks of life are joining “I Am An Immigrant” in celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month. On June 1, several famous faces took part in a new star-studded video, directed by Paola Mendoza, that honors the monumental contributions that immigrants have made — and continue to make — to the United States. Celebrity participants include America Ferrera, George Takei, Uzo Aduba, Jason Sudeikis and Ilana Glazer. In the video, celebrities recite lines to the poem entitled “I stand, Because I am…”, written by Tony Award-winning spoken word poet and actor Lemon Andersen. They are joined by immigrants and community members in healthcare and law enforcement proudly claiming “I Stand With Immigrants.

“My mother, a survivor of both polio and the Igbo genocide in Nigeria, came to the United States a half-century ago in search of greater opportunity and a brighter future. She believed in the welcoming ideals inscribed on the Statue of Liberty and taught her children that those words have, for centuries, served as the bedrock for who we are as a nation,” said Emmy Award-winning actress Uzo Aduba. “This Immigrant Heritage Month, I celebrate the millions of immigrant mothers, like my own, who endured sleepless nights and an uncertain future so that their children could pursue the promise of America.”

About the author: Peter Boogaard

Peter is the Communications Director at FWD.us. Prior to FWD.us, Peter served as Director of Communications and Assistant Press Secretary at the White House, where he held a dual role with the National Security Office and White House Press Office. There, he focused on a range of domestic security issues, including immigration and border security, refugee policy, disaster response, and Western Hemisphere affairs including Central American migration and Cuba policy. Peter previously worked for the Department of Homeland Security, where he served as Press Secretary and ultimately Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. He began his career on Capitol Hill as Press Secretary for U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper.

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