ESU Joins Nation‐Wide Effort to Highlight Immigrant Impact on History and Future of America
Today the English-Speaking Union (ESU) announced its support of the first ever Immigrant Heritage Month, an initiative organized by the Welcome.us, a non-profit that is partnering with corporations, media outlets, organizations, celebrities, athletes, faith, civic, and political leaders to gather and share inspirational stories of American immigrants.
"Welcoming new immigrants through English language, cultural programs and practical support is the goal of ESU and its new program, the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center. The Welcome.us initiative is important for us and all other programs serving immigrants in bringing our stories and efforts to the national level", said Chris Broadwell, Executive Director of the English-Speaking Union.
For Immigrant Heritage Month in June, the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center is hosting two workshops for new immigrants and American volunteers in partnership with the "I Learn America" project. On June 7 and 14, the workshop group will explore, structure and tell their immigration stories, with the help of a facilitator - film director and producer Jean-Michel Dissard.
Supporters of Immigrant Heritage Month are encouraged to share their own unique immigration stories through social media and events in cities nationwide. Immigrant Heritage Month focuses on four key themes:
"In the United States, with a good idea and enough hard work, anything is possible," said Tolu Olubunmi, Executive Director of Welcome.us. "The entrepreneurial drive and spirit of our country is built on our diversity of origins. It is what drew the first people to the U.S. and what continues to drive American business. American success is a result of our many distinct experiences, not in spite of it."
"Our goal is to encourage as many Americans as possible to tell the story of how they first felt welcomed to the American experience. Our history and stories will help determine our future—at Welcome.us, we want everyone here to be a part of that history.
ABOUT THE ESU
The English-Speaking Union of the United States (ESU) celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will through educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members. The ESU was founded in 1920.
ABOUT THE ANDREW ROMAY NEW IMMIGRANT CENTER
The Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center, a program of the English-Speaking Union, is committed to improving the lives of new Americans by providing a welcoming environment, resources and information to help them improve their English, explore work and study opportunities, network, pursue citizenship, and acquire cultural fluency in order to participate fully in American society. ARNIC members receive a one-year scholarship that covers their participation in English in Action one-on-one conversation programs, English classes, workshops and cultural and civil trips and events.
Welcome.us, a new non‐profit organization, is dedicated to celebrating a United States that is fueled by immigrants from around the world. Led by Tolu Olubunmi, an immigrant and DREAMer, the organization is focused on launching the Welcome.us campaign and establishing Immigrant Heritage Month to honor the ways in which America and the immigrants who have built our country are linked in a shared, productive history. Welcome.us is supported by FWD.us, which was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Reid Hoffman, Bill Gates, Padmasree Warrior, and other tech leaders. Our Honorary Board for Immigrant Heritage Month includes: Congressman Valadao, Congressman Crowley, Congressman Honda, Congressman Polis, Jared Leto, Russell Simmons, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Bolton and Kenny G. Learn more about the campaign and Immigrant Heritage Month by visiting Welcome.us.
ABOUT I LEARN AMERICA
The project I LEARN AMERICA: an immigration workshop, in association with iNation, is based on a new documentary I LEARN AMERICA that follows five recently arrived students over a personally tumultuous year in a Brooklyn high school. By turns humorous, alarming, and deeply moving, the film shines a spotlight on a growing, and promising portion of our next generation. During community workshops, drawing inspiration from the stories in I LEARN AMERICA, participants will harness their personal stories in order to build bridges between themselves, their communities and their new land.