U.S. Senator Dick Durbin Honors Immigrant Heritage Month at Community Celebration, Public Art Installation

CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin commemorated Immigrant Heritage Month (IHM) yesterday at an outdoor community celebration and art installation held at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago to #CelebrateImmigrants. Hundreds of Chicagoans participated in the festivities, held to recognize the contributions of immigrants and their descendants to the United States over generations. Also in attendance were State Reps. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez (IL-24) and Emanuel “Chris” Welch (IL-7).
Chicagoans gathered throughout the day to add flags of their identified heritage to a public art installation. They also enjoyed cultural performances from the Kalapriya, Marimba Ixchel, Mariachi Son de Fuego and 168 Fitness Team dance and music groups representing Indian, Guatemalan, Mexican and Chinese heritages. Food trucks with tamales, burritos, sushi, and jerk chicken were stationed nearby throughout the afternoon offering a variety of cuisines from across the globe.
U.S. Senator Durbin, Rep. Hernandez and Rep. Welch represent just a sampling of elected officials from Illinois who are celebrating IHM this year. Governors and mayors from 38 states have already issued more than 175 proclamations officially declaring June as Immigrant Heritage Month in their jurisdictions, including Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Joliet Mayor Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering. Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia introduced a resolution with a similar sentiment.
Congressman Mike Quigley (IL-5), whose great-great-grandfather fled Ireland’s potato famine for the United States, also took to social media to pen an op-ed about his family’s heritage, saying: “Leaving the only home you’ve ever known is never easy, which is why the courage and bravery of our relatives means so much to our family history and to the shared history of this nation, woven together like a colorful, patchwork quilt.”
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. The next IHM event will take place this Sunday, June 10, in Atlanta at the Plaza Fiesta.