Philadelphia, June 13, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs (MOIMA) announced that the City will participate, for the first time, in United Nations World Refugee Day, which is on June 20th, by cosponsoring a World Refugee Day Celebration festival on Saturday, June 21st at Northeast High School in collaboration with the Philadelphia Refugee Resettlement Service Provider Collaborative.
“This Administration is committed to solidifying Philadelphia’s reputation as a welcoming, inclusive, global city,” said Mayor Nutter. “Refugees are our friends, neighbors, co-workers and employees. They are starting businesses, revitalizing neighborhoods, and contributing to our city’s continued population growth. Our government must foster their integration into the social, civic and economic culture of our City and at the same time, celebrate the rich diversity of the communities from which they originate. In Philadelphia we are proud of our diversity.”
Mayor Nutter also announced that the City of Philadelphia will support the efforts of Welcome.US, a group working to establish June as Immigrant Heritage Month in the U.S., by highlighting various events celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month throughout the city. Mayor Nutter recently joined the honorary board of Welcome.US. Upcoming events include:
- “Worldtown Festival: World Cup Edition”, on Saturday, June 14th from 11:00AM – 9:00PM at the Piazza at Schmidt’s.
- “Choosing Philadelphia: What Attracts Immigrant Newcomers” discussion, on Wednesday, June 18th from 8:30AM – 10:00 AM at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP.
- “World Refugee Day Celebration” festival, on Saturday, June 21st from 1:00PM – 4:00 PM at Northeast High School.
“Philadelphia was founded on the universal principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Today, in observance of World Refugee Day, we recognize the struggles and aspirations of immigrants who have been displaced from their nations in the pursuit of these ideals we hold so dear,” said Jennifer Rodríguez, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs.
Following the announcement, the Philadelphia Refugee Resettlement Service Provider Collaborative hosted a community roundtable to discuss the positive impact that refugees have on the city’s communities and economy. Representatives from the Nationality Services Center, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the Women’s Opportunity Resource Center, Nameste Market, and the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition, Inc. participated in the roundtable discussion.
MOIMA promotes the well-being of immigrant communities in Philadelphia by improving access to city services, economic resources, and educational opportunities. Promoting initiatives like World Refugee Day and Immigrant Heritage Month are examples of how this office supports and empowers multicultural communities and organizations.
For more information on the United Nation World Refugee Day: http://unhcr.org.au/unhcr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=216&Itemid=103
For more information on Immigrant Heritage Month: http://www.welcome.us/
For more information the Mayor’s Office of Multicultural and Immigrant Affairs: http://www.phila.gov/ima/