America’s powerful fabric
Immigrant Heritage Month celebrated diversity and multicultural communities throughout the United States, and was especially meaningful here in Nashua, one of the most diverse cities in the Granite State.
The powerful national movement found its way into an address from city Mayor Jim Donchess recently, as more than 50 supporters gathered to witness him declare June Immigrant Heritage Month for Nashua.
The nationwide movement has its heart at www.iamanimmigrant.com. “Every family has an immigration story, or know someone who is an immigrant, and we want to hear your,” the front page states. A reflection of all the immigrant success stories from American individuals over the last century lies in a full month of appreciation, placed during the same month as LGBTQ Pride Month, which is in honor of the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan.
Donchess’ efforts were, in part, to amplify the purpose of Immigrant Month; to make the public strongly aware and appreciative of this unique fabric in our country’s people, made up of people from all ends of the globe and all religions. Part of Donchess’ efforts may have been to simply raise awareness of the movement, but he also highlighted just how diverse this great city is – especially with events like BrazilFest and the Egyptian Festival on the horizon.
This may be in result of the fact that many may be unclear on the reason for the declaration. Its purpose is to spread awareness of a quality of our country, and tangible efforts such as recognition in social media, influenced heavily through the movement’s heart website, are examples of a means of achieving this awareness. While it remains publicly unknown by many, efforts such as those done by Donchess are of great importance toward connecting happenings in the city to those occurring at the national level.
Another point of discussion in the awareness of the movement is the fact that it was placed during the same time as LGBTQ pride month. This is viewed by most as a positive quality, in that the more awareness, the better, and also through a means of respecting each of the events in the same way, as they take on unique building blocks of America’s diversity, culturally and socially.
Some remark that it may be more respectful to keep a shorter time period for each of the awareness movements, and to observe them non-simultaneously. An example of this could be one week for Immigrant Heritage Month, and the following week for LGBTQ awareness, if they must be in a similar time frame.
While the timings of the months are held on a blend of historic coincidence and possible purposeful time alignment, it is in the power of the national movements for these months being simultaneous.
The importance of awareness of immigrant heritage is that it keeps our society open to continuing this type of cultural acceptance in our nation’s people. Through industry, neighborhoods, education, politics, churches and entrepreneurship, American immigrants have served as an essential backbone to our success and merit. Awareness months in politics and society continue to deliver something more important than they first seem, as awareness of our country’s strengths is the first step in maintaining them as a collective community.
Mahad Kahn is a political science major at the University of New Hampshire. He is a resident of Nashua, and can be reach at firstname.lastname@example.org.