This June we are commemorating Immigrant Heritage Month to celebrate the incredible diversity, beauty, and strength of immigrant communities in Philadelphia!
Throughout the month, the City of Philadelphia's Office of Immigrant Affairs is promoting community events
that celebrate the resilience of Philly’s immigrant communities.
Throughout Immigrant Heritage Month, we are able to better understand and appreciate the cultural heritage of immigrant communities from food, language, music, dance, religious practices, customs, and traditions. In our differences, we find our shared connections and histories. We also recognize the contributions and significance of the immigrant communities that make Philadelphia a welcoming home for all across the city.
In partnership with the Office of Immigrant Affairs, as we #CelebrateImmigrants this month, the Free Library acknowledges the resiliency of immigrant communities this past year, especially in adapting to the loss and challenges brought on by COVID-19. The pandemic disproportionately has impacted marginalized communities with Black, brown, and other people of color experiencing the highest infection, hospitalization, and death rates. Knowing that many Philadelphians lost in-person time together, businesses and community centers lost the time to provide a space for community gatherings, and we lost the time and space to participate in shared customs and traditions, making it difficult to celebrate while reflecting on a year of such loss.
Cultures in Culture explores the fermentation process and its cultural significance in respective culinary traditions.
However, immigrant communities across Philadelphia have demonstrated so much resiliency. Even with all the uncertainties, they have supported Philadelphians through widespread community support networks, initiatives, and programs.
The Free Library’s programming for Immigrant Heritage Month will include the Culinary Literacy Center’s Cultures in Culture series, which will highlight the process of fermentation in world cuisines. Each installment will feature the preparation of a fermented product from a different culinary tradition along with a dialogue about its use and importance in its country of origin. The series will include kefir, kimchi, pikliz, tapai, chimichurri, injera, hot sauce, and sourdough, and will be demonstrated by local immigrant chefs and entrepreneurs. Visit the Culinary Literacy Center’s web page to sign up for Cultures in Culture events.
The World Traveling Trunk program encourages cultural learning for children and families.
One of the Free Library’s additional featured events will be the World Traveling Trunks series. The World Traveling Trunk program is a "cultural-themed, ready-to-go program in a box" packed with books, music CDs, and basic educational resources that helps community members learn more about different countries and regions of the world. It encourages cultural learning for children and families while promoting an understanding of how we are all connected together globally. The Free Library invites you each Saturday throughout the month of June in Bardascino Park at 10th and Carpenter Streets for a fun day of free cultural activities for the whole family. Visit our online calendar for more information.
Be sure to find the Immigrant Heritage Month–themed installment of Picture Book Highlights coming later this month to our blog, and browse the book lists in our catalog for some reading inspiration.
We hope this June will be full of celebration, reflection, and community gathering, where we can all recognize the beauty and vibrancy of our immigrant communities, and come together to commemorate our unique immigrant histories and heritage in our shared home of Philadelphia.
You can tell us why you celebrate immigrants in our community by using the #CelebrateImmigrants hashtag and tagging @freelibrary on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!