Atlanta Honors Immigrant Heritage Month With Community Celebration, Public Art Installation

ATLANTA, GA – Community members in Atlanta commemorated Immigrant Heritage Month (IHM) yesterday at an outdoor celebration and art installation at Plaza Fiesta. A 350,000 square foot mall and shopping plaza in DeKalb County, Plaza Fiesta is a vital shopping and cultural center for Atlanta’s immigrant community. Hundreds of Atlantans participated in the festivities to recognize the contributions of immigrants and their descendants to the United States over generations.
Throughout the day, community members honored their family’s immigrant heritage by pinning country flags representing their ancestry to the art installation. The art piece serves as a visual representation of our nation’s shared immigrant heritage and the diversity that connects us all to one another. By the end of the event, the heart was covered in flags from all around the world. Attendees enjoyed the unique social media opportunity to take a photo with the featured “I ❤ ATL” art installation using #CelebrateImmigrants.
The event also featured cultural performances, representing the Mexican, Colombian, Panamanian, and Indian cultures.
“I’m really glad we were able to help bring this event to Atlanta and celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month in a city with such vibrant culture,” said FWD.us organizer Samuel Aguilar, who helped to organize the event.  “Our immigrant population has made meaningful contributions to this city and to have those recognized in such a public way is inspiring. Atlanta’s immigrant heritage is a story of sacrifices, struggles and successes. I’m glad we could come together to recognize and celebrate the diversity that strengthens us, it really means a lot to this community and I know ATLans will continue to stand with immigrants.”
Additional quotes from participants and supporters:
  • Bee Nguyen, Georgia State Representative for House District 89: “As the daughter of former refugees from Vietnam, I cannot be more proud of my immigrant parents. My father worked two jobs his entire life, and my mother raised five daughters. They are like many other immigrants — they fled from a broken country to America, the land of refuge and opportunity. They teach me to never take freedom for granted and to always treat others with humanity.”
  • Gabriel Vaca, Executive Director of the Hispanic Business Center, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: “I am immigrant from Mexico and currently help Hispanic American businesses grow their businesses. These business owners contribute to the Georgia economy by generating jobs and paying taxes.”
  • Santiago Marquez, President and CEO, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: “I am an Immigrant from Cuba and I am proud of my heritage. I am also very proud to be a Georgian and an American. Our country, the United States, the greatest country known to humanity depends on the sweat, blood and tears of immigrants.”
  • Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director, Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO): “It’s always important to celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month!  Immigrants are vital towards Georgia’s prosperity and future. We must honor their contributions.”
  • Gigi Pedraza, Executive Director – Latino Community Development Fund Georgia: “Immigrants are bound to America by ties of blood, hard work, family and dreams but most importantly, by love. We choose to be Americans because it is the country we love fight for, and continue to make great”
  • Stephanie Cho, Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta: “Georgia is home to immigrants and people of color from many different backgrounds and immigrant heritage month is wonderful opportunity to celebrate and highlight our diverse cultures and experiences,” said Stephanie Cho, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta. “We are proud to highlight the AAPI voices during the #CelebrateImmigrants event in Atlanta and will continue to promote the Asian American experience.”
  • Jordyne Krumroy, Regional Manager with Welcoming America: “It’s rare that we take time to recognize, affirm, and celebrate the diversity amongst us, but that is precisely why Immigrant Heritage Month is so critical. In an age when immigrants are daily demonized, events like this create safe space for us to celebrate our identities without fear or shame. For those who daily shield their identities from the limelight, that celebration can be personally and communally liberating.”
Immigrant Heritage Month is in its fifth year and has grown into a powerful celebration of millions of individuals’ heritage. Yesterday’s event in Atlanta the latest stop on the Immigrant Heritage Month Tour. Previous stops included Washington, D.C. and Chicago.The next IHM #CelebrateImmigrants event will take place this Saturdayin Houston on June 16 at the Discovery Green Conservancy.