Nation’s Capital Kicks Off Immigrant Heritage Month With Community Celebration, Public Art Installation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, D.C. government officials joined community leaders and residents to proclaim June as Immigrant Heritage Month (IHM) in the District of Columbia during a day-long community celebration of immigrant heritage.

“In Washington, D.C., it is not only our diversity that makes us great, but our embrace and celebration of our diversity,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Washington, D.C., is a stronger and more vibrant city because of the thousands of immigrants who live in our community, and this month and every month, we are proud to celebrate our D.C. values of diversity and inclusivity.”

As part of her continued commitment to supporting immigration, Mayor Bowser also released $1.8 million in Community Grants from the Mayor’s Office on African Affairs, the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, and the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs. The funding will be allocated to support education, jobs and economic development, public safety, civic engagement, health and wellness, youth engagement, and arts and the creative economy.

D.C. locals gathered throughout the day to enjoy the block party celebration with upbeat cultural music and food trucks representing various nationalities. Mayor Bowser’s Chief of Staff John J. Falcicchio appeared on behalf of the Mayor and was joined by other leaders from the Executive Office of the Mayor, includingCouncilman Brandon Todd. Mamadou Samba, Director of the Mayor’s Office of African Affairs, Maria S. Gomez R.N., M.P.H., President and CEO of Mary’s Center,Dr. Anthony Wutoh, Provost of Howard University, and Bobby Pradachitch, Chef and Owner of Thip Khao also gave remarks commemorating the diversities that make D.C. so unique.

Attendees also enjoyed the unique social media opportunity to take a photo with the featured “I ❤ D.C.” art installation using #CelebrateImmigrants.
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, which will remain on display in D.C. at the Frank D. Reeves Center for Municipal Affairs, 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.
Yesterday’s event kicked off a month-long, nationwide celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month. Now in its fifth year, IHM has grown into a powerful, impactful celebration of millions of individuals’ heritage. The next IHM event will take place this Friday in Chicago on June 8 at the Daley Center.