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Celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month

By: Lucy Spence (Panama 18-20)

June is Immigrant Heritage Month.  This is a time to celebrate all of those who came before us and how they have shaped not only our lives, but the very society that we live in.  With old fashioned story sharing and modern day genealogy tests, family lineages are all the rage these days.  While everyday is important to acknowledge the massive amount of challenges around immigration, this is a special month for reflection and remembrance.

Immigrants offer more to society here in the United States than we can ever imagine.  There are some contributions from immigrants that are often spoken about, such as delicious foreign foods.  Yet, there are so many more benefits that enhance US culture that are not mentioned: art, innovative entrepreneurship, and economic opportunity do not even begin to scratch the surface of it.

Today we would like to ask you to think about what you know of your own immigrant heritage.  If you have relatives that you know who journeyed to the US for any of a myriad of reasons we would like you to consider all that they have contributed to this country, to the citizens of the US, and to your family.  It is important to remember that some people feel more comfortable sharing the birthplace of their relatives than others due to discrimination amongst other factors. With that in mind we challenge you to share this with anyone you choose, be it yourself, family and friends, or social media.  We hope that you find pride in your ancestors this Immigrant Heritage Month as we have.

For inspiration here is a powerful collection of videos from I Am An Immigrant Foundation The group that put forward this initiative.

https://www.iamanimmigrant.com/ihm/

To learn more about what immigrants bring to life here in the United States check out these resources:

https://www.cbpp.org/research/poverty-and-inequality/immigrants-contribute-greatly-to-us-economy-despite-administrations

https://immigrationtounitedstates.org/355-art.html

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/how-immigrants-benefit-society-trump/