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#IAmAnImmigrant campaign elevates awareness of nation’s immigrant history

LatinaLista — Perhaps of all the countries in the world, the United States owes its evolution to what it is today to immigrants. At some point in the history of every non-Native family, there can be uncovered proof that these ancestors were either brought or came to the US, leaving behind their homelands and making this country their new home.

The fact that immigrants continue to arrive illustrates how the country continues to be seen as a safe haven, a land of opportunity and a place to call home.

June is Immigrant Heritage Month. Started in 2013 by the nonprofit,, to celebrate the natural occurring diversity immigration brings to the United States, this year, the month-long observance includes a special campaign called #IAmAnImmigrant.

I Am An Immigrant declares that no matter our background or family’s history America’s strength as a nation is reflected in our diversity built across generations.

What makes this year’s observance different are the portraits done by “Beasts of No Nation” director Cary Fukunaga, the son of a third-generation Japanese-American father, Anthony Shuzo Fukunaga. The elder Fukunaga was born in a Japanese incarceration camp during World War II.

Cary took portraits of over 50 celebrities who share immigrant roots: Kerry Washington, Julianne Moore, Lupita Wyong’o, Tracee Ellis Ross, Alan Cumming, Rosario Dawson, Akon, Bobby Cannavale, Tom Colicchio, Miguel, Rosie Perez, Junot Diaz, Roselyn Sanchez and Guillermo Diaz. Some of the celebrities also helped create a video (see below) about the campaign reminding us all of the importance of immigrants to the country.

However, the campaign isn’t just to highlight celebrity immigrants. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the campaign by purchasing the campaign’s official t-shirt and/or changing their profile picture with a new upload featuring the I Am Immigrant caption.

The main message is that immigration is something to be celebrated and honored and understood as an important ingredient in what made and continues to make America great!

(Featured Photo Credit: Cary Fukunaga)

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