WASHINGTON, DC – Today marks the start of Immigrant Heritage Month (IHM), a nationwide effort to celebrate immigrants and share inspirational stories of immigration in America. Now in its fifth year, IHM is an opportunity for Americans to celebrate the countless contributions immigrants have made and continue to make to the United States, and to reflect on their family’s heritage.
This year, IHM is bringing interactive #CelebrateImmigrants experiences to diverse neighborhoods across the country, featuring public art installations and a blend of cultural performances, custom t-shirts, and appearances by public officials. The first event kicks off June 5 in our nation’s capital. Other events will be held throughout the month of June in Chicago, Atlanta, San Diego, Houston and Salt Lake City.
Also new to IHM in 2018 is a star-studded video featuring celebrities in film and entertainment — including Bellamy Young (Scandal), Javier Muñoz (Hamilton), Shannon Woodward (Westworld) and Matt McGorry (Orange Is The New Black; How to Get Away with Murder) — as they reflect on their family’s immigrant heritage.
“I think standing with immigrants means I’m standing for hope, for the future, for authenticity and for not having to sacrifice where you came from for where you are now,” said Broadway star Ana Villafañe, known for portraying pop icon Gloria Estefan in the musical On Your Feet!.
Westworld actress Shannon Woodward noted that immigrants are part of the fabric of the United States, adding that “to be an immigrant in this country is to be an American.”
Governors and mayors from 34 states have already issued 152 proclamations officially declaring June as Immigrant Heritage Month in their jurisdictions, including Governors Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island and Rick Snyder of Michigan. Additional proclamations are expected throughout the month from all 50 states.
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 540 companies and nonprofit partners, came together to celebrate IHM 2017 – leading to over half a billion impressions on social media in June alone, and more than dozens of IHM-linked events held around the country.
IHM 2017 participants included famed fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann, Paypal Co-Founder Max Levchin, America Ferrera, Bellamy Young, George Takei, Paul Wesley, Matt McGorry, Debra Messing, Christina Milian, Russell Simmons, Ana Villafane, Minka Kelly, Ilana Glazer, Jack Falahee, Tara Strong, Piper Perabo, Javier Munoz, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Phoebe Tonkin.
The campaign’s popularity is a testament to the rapidly growing grassroots support for immigrant communities and their significance to the social, cultural and economic fabric of the United States. For more information or to join an Immigrant Heritage Month celebration in your community, visit www.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!