Washington, DC – On June 5, 2018, the Bowser Administration officially proclaimed June 2018 as Immigrant Heritage Month, kicking off the month with a community celebration hosted by the Mayor’s Offices on Latino Affairs, African Affairs, and Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs and Fwd.us. The celebration featured performances by local artists, food trucks, and remarks from Mary’s Center President and CEO Maria Gomez, Howard University Provost Dr. Anthony Wutoh, and Chef Bobby Prakaditch.
“In Washington, DC, it is not only our diversity that makes us great, but our embrace and celebration of our diversity,” Mayor Bowser said in a statement. “Washington, DC is a stronger and more vibrant city because of the thousands of immigrants who live in our community, and this month and every month, we are proud to celebrate our DC values of diversity and inclusivity.”
The Immigrant Heritage Month celebration featured an interactive “I♥DC” art display. Throughout the day, residents affixed flags representing the countries from which they emigrated to the heart in the display. The final display will be housed permanently in the Reeves Center.
Additionally, the Bowser Administration also released Request for Applications for the FY 2019 Community Grants from the Mayor’s Office on African Affairs, the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, and the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs. The funding, which totals $1.8 million, will be allocated to support education, jobs and economic development, public safety, civic engagement, health and wellness, youth engagement, and arts and the creative economy. The application process is open until Friday, July 6, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.. Each office will host information sessions on the following dates:
- Mayor’s Office on African Affairs – Tuesday, June 12, 2018 10 am - 12 pm and 5:30 - 6:30 pm
- Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs – Monday, June 25, 2018 10 am - 12 pm and 6 - 7 pm
- Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs – Thursday, June 21, 2018 10 am - 12 pm and 5 - 6:30 pm
- Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs – Thursday, June 14, 2018 10 am - 12 pm and 5 -7 pm
Since coming into office, the Bowser Administration has been committed to embracing Washington, DC’s diversity and supporting immigrants across all eight wards. In January 2017, Mayor Bowser created the Immigrant Justice Legal Services grant program, a first-of-its-kind program to provide funding to community-based organizations, private organizations, associations, and law firms that do legal work for immigrants in Washington, DC. The Mayor has already invested $1 million in the IJLS program, and the Fiscal Year 2019 budget allocates an additional $900,000. Additionally, in November 2017, the Mayor announced the New American Workforce Partnership, a partnership between DC Government and the non-profit group, National Immigration Forum, to make citizenship services more readily available for DC Government employees, their families, and hundreds of others who live or work in Washington, DC. The partnership will help thousands of District residents go through the naturalization process and become American citizens.
Immigrant Heritage Month has been celebrated by communities across the country since June 2014. The District is committed to celebrating and serving all District residents no matter their immigration status.