Mayor Faulconer Honors Immigrant Heritage Month With Community Celebration, Public Art Installation in San Diego

SAN DIEGO, CA – Mayor Kevin Faulconer joined community members yesterday in San Diego to commemorate Immigrant Heritage Month (IHM) at an outdoor celebration and art installation at the Bea Evenson Fountain in Balboa Park. Hundreds of San Diegans participated in the festivities to recognize the contributions of immigrants and their descendants to the United States over generations.

“San Diego has a rich history of immigrants who contribute to our city, enrich our community, and help grow our economy,” Mayor Faulconer said. “We are a nation of many cultures under one flag, and I was pleased to see San Diegans join together in Balboa Park as we celebrated our shared values.”
Throughout the day, community members honored their 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 each American. 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 ❤ SD” art installation and share them on social media using the #CelebrateImmigrants hashtag.
The celebration also included performances from local cultural groups, such as Afro-Cuban dance and drumming from the group Omo Ache, poetry recited by American Book Award Winner Diana Garcia, a mariachi performance from Mariachi Mi San Diego, flamenco and ballet dances performed by young artists from DanzArts, and an appearance from tribal representatives in traditional costume from Nations of San Diego.
Following the event, the art piece will be on display in San Diego’s New Americans Museum as a permanent reminder and continued celebration of the city’s diverse immigrant heritage.

 

Additional quotes from participants in yesterday’s events are below.

 

Jerry Sanders, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, said: “As a network of businesses in the San Diego region, the Chamber understands the important role immigrants play in the strength, diversity, and resiliency of our local workforce. From creating jobs to contributing to state and local taxes, immigrants are a helping propel our economy as a whole. It is wonderful that we have this opportunity to celebrate and embrace our strengths as a dynamic and diverse population. Because that is what truly makes us America’s Finest City.”

 

Lilian Serrano, Chair, San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC), said:
“Immigrants are a vital part of our San Diego Border Region. As the chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and the daughter of immigrants, I’m happy to see the city of San Diego celebrate the our immigrant heritage and welcome San Diegans from all over the world. It sends an important message that immigrants matter and are welcome here.”

 

Nao Kabashima, Executive Director, Karen Organization of San Diego, said: “We are so honored to be here with all of you today to celebrate beautiful San Diego and our Immigrant Heritage Month. As one of the newest immigrant communities in San Diego, our community members who are refugees from Burma have learned a lot from our immigrant friends and have been so encouraged by you to work harder. We believe that San Diego will be always a very welcoming city for everyone even at this difficult time. And at Karen Organization of San Diego, we are so honored to be a part of San Diego.”

 

Linda Caballero Sotelo, Executive Director, New Americans Museum, said: “We are honored to have participated in celebrating National Immigrant Heritage Month during the public event held in San Diego. There has never been a more meaningful time to reflect & to celebrate the contributions of immigrants to our great nation’s evolving history. We remain committed to keeping immigrant stories of resilience and true American exceptionalism alive through our work & are grateful to be able to amplify this message by showcasing the emblematic I LOVE SD piece for all San Diegans to enjoy.”
Immigrant Heritage Month, now in its fifth year, has grown into a powerful celebration of millions of individuals’ heritage. Yesterday’s event in San Diego is the latest stop on the Immigrant Heritage Month national tour. Previous stops included Washington, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, and Houston. The next IHM #CelebrateImmigrants event will take place on Tuesday, June 26 at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City, Utah.