Friday, June 9, 2017

Immigrant Heritage Month launches 'I Am An Immigrant' campaign


George Takei appears in a video celebrating Immigration Heritage Month

IT'S A CLICHE, but "America is a nation of immigrants," and it's appropriate, especially this year, that we take time to acknowledge that.

Business leaders, artists and entertainers, elected officials representing 32 states, and more than 250 companies and nonprofit partners (to date) are teaming up with “I Am An Immigrant” to honor Immigrant Heritage Month, a nationwide effort to gather and share the inspirational stories of immigrants in America. The celebration runs throughout the month of June.

“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.”
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Immigrant Heritage Month is even more meaningful this year in light of the anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies coming out of the Donald Trump administration, the spike in deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the rise in anti-immigrant attacks by people emboldened by these government actions, including the Executive Orders that the courts have ruled are unconstitutional travel bans based on religion.
Immigration Heritage Month celebrates its fourth year in 2017 with a series of interactive events and more support than ever before, including from organizations such as Facebook, Verizon, Snapchat, Refinery29, MTV, HBO, Airbnb, Square Inc., Univision and Upworthy, among others. 
These collaborations will bring the celebration of IHM to new audiences across a range of platforms, helping to engage more individuals and highlight more stories than ever before. Partners will support IHM 2017 efforts in a variety of ways, like sharing unique content and hosting IHM proclamation ceremonies. Several partners are utilizing their unique platforms to amplify the message of IHM. 
Artists and entertainers partnering with “I Am An Immigrant” to honor IHM 2017 include Priyanka Chopra, America Ferrera, George Takei, Uzo Aduba, Jason Sudeikis and Ilana Glazer. IHM 2017 also features 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. A full schedule of programming is available here on the newly redesigned website IAmAnImmigrant.com.

Also new to Immigrant Heritage Month this year is the “I Stand With Immigrants” campaign, a brand new 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 proclaim proudly that they stand with immigrants.
“To compete and win in the digital economy, we need all players on the field,” said Lowell McAdam, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Verizon Communications Inc.  “For the tech industry, that includes immigrants, whose skills and talents help keep Verizon – and America – on the leading edge of the internet revolution. The genius of America lies in the fact that we are a nation of immigrants bound together by national values of economic opportunity, rewarding hard work and providing access to education. That’s why we’re proud to join the “I Stand with Immigrants” campaign in recognizing the many contributions of immigrants.”
More than 70 governors, mayors, city council members and community leaders across the country have also issued proclamations officially declaring June Immigrant Heritage Month.
“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.”



A load of stars have once again come together to help launch Immigrant Heritage Month, the annual celebration of America's international roots that takes place in June.
"Saturday Night Live" alum Jason Sudeikis, "Superstore" star America Ferrera, "Broad City's" Ilana Glazer, Emmy-winning "Orange Is the New Black" actress Uzo Aduba, and "Star Trek" icon George Takei are among the many celebrities appearing in a new video for Immigrant Heritage Month.
This year, it has extended its "I am an immigrant" campaign with "I stand with immigrants" — both of which are emblazoned on the shirts worn by the celebrities in the video. The new campaign aims to encourage Americans to take action in support of immigrant rights and to form coalitions with others.
In the video directed by Colombian actress and director Paola Mendoza, the stars recite a poem written by Lemon Anderson.

Immigration Heritage Month was officially recognized by President Barack Obama in 2015.
With less support from Donald Trump this year, more than just celebrities are pushing forward the Immigrant Heritage Month message. Private companies are also helping and supporting live events, including Zuckerberg's Facebook, Verizon, Snapchat, MTV, HBO, and Airbnb, among many others.
Learn more about “I Am An Immigrant” and Immigrant Heritage Month by visiting IAmAnImmigrant.com.
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