Celebrities, Elected Officials and Business Leaders Join Together to Celebrate the Fourth Annual Immigrant Heritage Month

America Ferrera, George Takei, Uzo Aduba, and Jason Sudeikis among celebrities that brought star power to #IAmAnImmigrant campaign throughout June

WASHINGTON, DC — Throughout the month of June, a powerful and diverse group of community groups, celebrities, elected officials, and business leaders representing all fifty states and the District of Columbia joined the “I Am An Immigrant” campaign to mark the fourth annual Immigrant Heritage Month, a celebration highlighting the extensive contributions that immigrants have made, and continue to make, to our nation.

Alongside over 540 corporate, nonprofit, and governmental partners, “I Am An Immigrant” hosted three pop-up experiences and 12 events in major cities from coast to coast. The interactive experiences featured newly released merchandise, storytelling and dramatic readings, group art projects, community service opportunities, food from local immigrant-owned restaurants, music, and photoshoots.

This year’s month-long campaign was also expanded to include “I Stand With Immigrants,” a brand new initiative to provide avenues for allies to stand in solidarity with immigrant employees, colleagues, constituents, neighbors, and friends. “I Stand With Immigrants” asks Americans to take meaningful action in support of immigrants, and to join a growing coalition across the country to proclaim loudly that they stand with the immigrant community.

Since 2014, Immigrant Heritage Month has given people across the United States the chance to explore their own heritage and celebrate the shared diversity that forms the unique story of America. While June has just come to an end, the “I Stand With Immigrants” campaign will continue to build momentum year round, encouraging individuals to continue to stand with the immigrant community. To find out how to get involved with “I Stand With Immigrants,” visit IAmAnImmigrant.com.

Remarkable highlights from this year’s celebration spanned across the pop-up experiences,  celebrity engagement, digital and social media content, elected official support, and corporate and nonprofit partnerships.

Pop-Up Experiences

  • In 2017, “I Am An Immigrant” and its partners hosted hundreds of events across the country to celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month, including panel discussions, art exhibits, comedy shows, film screenings, workshops, and food festivals, citizenship workshops and naturalization ceremonies, among other activities, in cities like Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Miami and more. Major pop-up experiences took place in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

  • Celebrities and influencers including “Hamilton” star Javier Muñoz, Bellamy Young, Paul Wesley and Matt McGorry, among others, participated in the pop-up events by speaking on panel discussions, participating in photo shoots, and encouraging their fans and followers to share their own stories and stand with the immigrant community.

“Scandal” actress Bellamy Young and her dog Bean add to the community art mural at the “I Am An Immigrant” pop-up event in Los Angeles on June 16. (Photo courtesy of Maira Rios)

“Hamilton” Broadway star Javier Muñoz participated in the “I Am An Immigrant” pop-up event in New York City on June 3rd. (Photo courtesy of Welcome.us)

Celebrity Engagement, Digital & Social Media

  • This year,  the “I Am An Immigrant” campaign released a powerful celebrity video featuring America Ferrera, George Takei, Jason Sudeikis, and Uzo Aduba among others, generating nearly 1 million video views across social media.

  • Immigrant Heritage Month hashtags (#IAmAnImmigrant, #IStandWithImmigrants, #IHM2017 and #ImmigrantHeritageMonth) generated half a billion impressions across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram throughout the month of June.

Business Leaders & Community Voices

  • Throughout the month, business leaders, elected officials, entrepreneurs, and immigrants penned op-eds sharing their immigrant stories and why it is important to stand with the immigrant community. Highlights included:

  • Angela-Jo Touza-Medina, executive director for the YWCA Greater Austin, shared why she celebrates Immigrant Heritage Month.

Elected Official Support

  • Elected officials expressed support through social media, including:

  • Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI), U.S. Representatives Joe Crowley (D-NY), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Jeff Denham (R-CA), Robin Kelly (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Alma Adams (D-NC), David Reichert (R-WA), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Ruben Kihuen (D-NV), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Karen Bass (D-CA), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Will Hurd (R-TX), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Jim Langevin (D-RI), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV)

  • Mayors Marty Walsh (Boston), Robert Garcia (Long Beach), Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles), Ed Lee (San Francisco), and Sam Liccardo (San Jose)

  • California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, New York Assemblyman and DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake

  • Governors and mayors representing 48 states issued a combined 185 proclamations recognizing June as Immigrant Heritage Month:

  • Governors included: North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (R); Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R); New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D); Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D); Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R); Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R); California Governor Jerry Brown (D); Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R); New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu (R); Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner (R); and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R), among others.

  • Mayors and councilmembers included: Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings (D); Miami Mayor Tomas Pedro Regalado (R); Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer (D); Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson (D), Mayor Lydia Mihalik from Findlay, Ohio (R); and City Council Chair Joe McDermott from King County, WA (D), among others.

  • Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA), Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-CA), Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), and Congressman Marc Veasey (D-TX) gave speeches on the House and Assembly floors in recognition of Immigrant Heritage Month throughout the month of June. Key quotes:

    • Congressman Dave Reichert said that “We must work together to pass a long-term immigration reform bill that secures our borders, yes. But just as importantly, [one that] protects our children, protects the families and the workers who want nothing more than to be a part of this great country and live the American Dream.”

  • Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio said that “A lot of us stand on this floor and talk about ‘taking the right route to citizenship’ or ‘getting in line when coming to this country’. What is challenging to understand, if you have not experienced it, is that there is no route and there is no line, currently, for immigrants.”

  • Congressman Carlos Curbelo said that “From small business owners to law enforcement, hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their descendants across South Florida are contributing to our economy, culture, and local communities as living examples of American success.”

  • Congressman Marc Veasey said that “[Immigrants] work alongside us, teach our children, worship in our parishes. They contribute to the innovation that has kept America on the cutting-edge for decades.”

  • San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee honored the contributions of local immigrant leaders through the City’s first-ever Immigrant Leadership Awards.

Corporate & Nonprofit Partners

  • More than 300 corporate and nonprofit partners joined the “I Am An Immigrant” campaign this year to honor Immigrant Heritage Month.

  • Corporate partners included Verizon, Facebook, FWD.us, MTV, Refinery29, Council of Fashion Designers of America, Postmates, FileRight, Square, Snapchat, MTV, Univision, and Spotify, among others.

  • Nonprofit partners included the International Organization for Migration, The New Americans Campaign, Welcoming America, Mi Familia Vota, the Anti-Defamation League, Church World Service, World Relief, and Faith in Action.

  • Partner events included:

    • A dedication ceremony and cultural showcase in Las Vegas

    • An entrepreneurship panel in Chicago

    • A “know your rights” training in Austin

    • An community celebration and photo shoot in Atlanta

ABOUT “I AM AN IMMIGRANT”

“I Am An Immigrant” is part of Welcome.us, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that coordinates Immigrant Heritage Month every June. Started in 2014, Immigrant Heritage Month honors the countless contributions made by immigrants to our communities, our economy, our culture, and our collective American identity. “I Am An Immigrant” is an ongoing public awareness campaign to encourage Americans to share stories of their families’ immigrant heritage, and what it means to be an immigrant in America. Learn more about “I Am An Immigrant” and Immigrant Heritage Month by visiting IAmAnImmigrant.com.

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