FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2017
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Fourth Annual Immigrant Heritage Month Kicks Off with New Celebrity Video
America Ferrera, George Takei, Uzo Aduba, Jason Sudeikis and Ilana Glazer honor immigrants in new “I Stand With Immigrants” campaign
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, “I Am An Immigrant” launched a new star-studded video in celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month, a nationwide effort to gather and share the inspirational stories of immigrants in America. The celebration kicks off today and continues throughout the month of June.
The new video, directed by Paola Mendoza, 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.”
Immigrant Heritage Month celebrates its fourth year in 2017 with 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. Celebrities will also be participating 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. A full schedule of programming is available here on the newly redesigned website IAmAnImmigrant.com.
“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.”
Also new to Immigrant Heritage Month this year is the “I Stand With Immigrants” campaign, an 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 loudly proclaim proudly that they stand with immigrants.
Since its launch in 2014, Immigrant Heritage Month has grown into a powerful, impactful celebration of millions of individuals’ heritage as immigrants. Last year, hundreds of artists, entertainers and elected officials representing all 50 states, and more than 250 companies and nonprofit partners, came together to celebrate IHM 2016 – leading to over 1 billion impressions on social media in June alone, and more than 70 IHM-linked events held around the country.
IHM 2016 participants included Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o, Tracee Ellis Ross, Alan Cumming, Miguel, Kerry Washington, Debra Messing, Bobby Cannavale, Rosario Dawson, Arianna Huffington, Akon, Rosie Perez, Margaret Cho, Wilmer Valderrama, Aasif Mandvi, Guillermo Diaz, Cote de Pablo, Kimora Lee Simmons, Dania Ramirez, Eliza Dushku, Mario Batali, Harry Shum Jr., Junot Diaz, Adepero Oduye, Tom Colicchio, Amir Arison, Reza Aslan, Leon Krauze and the cast of East Los High.
“Since even before our nation’s founding, immigrants have played an important role in shaping our country’s economy, culture and society. From food and fashion to music and academia, immigrants from all walks of life have enriched and built American culture and helped us become the world’s most powerful economic engine.,” said FWD.us President Todd Schulte. “Immigrant Heritage Month is a powerful reminder of how the United States’ shared immigrant heritage makes us stronger and more connected as a nation.”
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.
We all know someone with an immigration experience or have an immigrant heritage story of our own. Join us in sharing your story for a chance to be featured on our official channels!