Although this year’s Immigrant Heritage Month didn’t look the way we initially thought it would, we were still excited and very honored to celebrate and reflect alongside our partners at the City of Philadelphia Office of Immigrant Affairs!
A few of the highlights were a digital author series featuring The Mountain Sings by Nguyên Phan Quê Mai; a curated YouTube playlist of immigrant authors from our Free Library Author Events series; and special reading lists including works by immigrant authors.
But we especially enjoyed teaming up with the Office of Immigrant Affairs for a digital storytelling campaign shining a spotlight on three of our very own Free Library staff members who are immigrants. We were honored to tell their stories and so grateful that they shared with us. In case you missed them…
"I am an immigant from Taiwan. I came to Philadlephia when I was pursuing a master's degree in 1987. Fast forward, now I have my family here and this is my home. I love Philadelphia. There is so much to learn, and this a city that welcomes people from all over the world."
"I consider myself an accidental immigrant. I met my husband by chance in Brazil and moved to the US after we got married. It was hard at first, being far from my family. But here I found a new career and life and my husband learned to speak Portuguese and to appreciate soccer. Two cultures and two languages have made our lives much richer!"
"My name is Mary Marques and I work as Library Coordinator for the Free Library of Philadelphia. Twenty eight years ago, I migrated to the United States. I came to the United States with a bag of dreams to conquer. I left my family and friends for an opportunity to explore the world. I am Peruvian-American! I am proud of my heritage and proud to be an immigrant."
It’s not too late to participate in the campaign, whether it be telling your own immigrant story or sharing why you stand with the immigrants who make our communities what they are. Don’t forget to use the #IAmAnImmigrant, #IStandWithPhillyImmigants, and #CelebrateImmigrants hashtags!