June is Immigrant Heritage Month, a nationally recognized month that gives people across the United States an opportunity to explore their own heritage and celebrate the shared diversity that forms the unique story of America. Immigrant Heritage Month uses storytelling to highlight immigrants and their diverse experiences. To celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month and honor the immigrant communities living in Philadelphia, the Office of Immigrant Affairs is partnering with the Free Library of Philadelphia and local organizations to host free events throughout the month that feature immigrants and their stories.
This year, OIA is expanding on the storytelling theme of Immigrant Heritage Month. In addition to exploring immigrant identities, the month will focus on highlighting how immigrant stories connect all people. As part of the storytelling process, OIA is leading a social media campaign that encourages Philadelphians to tell their stories and share why they support immigrants using the hashtag #IStandWithPhillyImmigrants.
Immigrant Heritage Month also coincides with the Department of Commerce’s Passport PHL initiative and the Free Library’s World Traveling Trunks program. Passport PHL is designed to encourage residents to explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods and businesses. The third iteration of Passport PHL, which runs June 1-30, 2018, will take place in the Oxford Circle neighborhood. The Free Library’s World Traveling Trunks are a cultural-themed, ready-to-go program in a box packed with books, CDs, and basic educational resources to explore a country or a region in the world.
The month-long celebration began on June 1, 2018 with Mayor Jim Kenney, OIA and the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival at the Caplan Recital Hall at the University of the Arts. The opening event will feature Philly premiere screenings of short films, highlights of the 2018 LOLA Award winner ‘Ser Grande’ and honorable mentions.
Some of Immigrant Heritage Month’s featured events are:
June 20, 2018, 5:00 – 8:30 PM
World Refugee Day
City Hall Courtyard
Celebrate the stories and contributions of refugees to Philadelphia with interactive art activities and film screenings.
June 21, 2018, 11:00 – 12:00 PM
Office of Immigrant Affairs & Free Library of Philadelphia Naturalization Ceremony
Parkway Central Library, Skyline Room
Dozens of immigrants will take the oath of citizenship to officially become citizens of the United States during this naturalization ceremony.
June 28, 2018, 10:00 – 11:00 AM
New Americans Campaign Celebration
City Hall, Mayor’s Reception Room
Immigrant Heritage Month will close with the New Americans Campaign Celebration, which will highlight stories of attorney volunteers and clients who have been helped by local citizenship clinics.
A full listing of the month’s events can be found at http://bit.ly/IHM2018