Mayor Wu and City of Boston Celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month

Mayor Michelle Wu and the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA) are celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month this June by promoting wellness and multicultural community building across Boston. MOIA is providing grant funding to neighborhood organizations for mental health programming and free event programming to create opportunities for residents and families to build community. For a full list of grant recipients and events, please visit

"As the daughter of immigrants, I know the vital role that our immigrant families and communities play in making our cities more welcoming, more resilient and more joyful," said Mayor Michelle Wu. "This month is a time to celebrate Boston's immigrant communities and for residents and families to be in community with each other. As we work to build a Boston for everyone, we are focused on promoting wellness, building community and creating space for joy across Boston's neighborhoods."

"As we celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month in June, we must recognize the challenges our immigrant communities have to navigate every day that can take a toll on their mental health in the longer term," said Council President Ed Flynn. "Through these grants and the important partnership of our immigrant-centered nonprofits, we can better support the mental health needs of our immigrant families, facilitate new connections, and build healthier communities."

"It is crucial that as a city, we are continuing to think intentionally and creatively about how we are providing our immigrant communities with the tools they need to not only survive, but to thrive," said Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune. "Mental health resources are such a vital part of that toolkit, and I am encouraged by this initiative and MOIA's commitment to this programming."

More on Boston Chron
To celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month, MOIA is partnering with 14 diverse organizations to host events for residents and families throughout the month. Events include cultural celebrations, food and film festivals, performances, sports tournaments, block parties, storytelling events, mental health fairs, and community forums. MOIA is providing each organization $1,500 to $2,500 in grants to support these events, which are free and open to the public.

"We are so pleased to receive this grant from the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement to host a food festival in East Boston," said Phil Giffee, Executive Director of Neighborhood of Affordable Housing. "East Boston is full of new arrivals who bring their skills, passions, and cultures to our rapidly changing community. We are proud to celebrate their gifts and talents with everyone for Immigrant Heritage Month."

In addition, MOIA is providing 18 community organizations with grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 to support wellness initiatives in immigrant communities over the next six months. This grant program will enhance the well-being and mental health of immigrants in Boston through non-clinical and culturally sensitive practices. Programming includes wellness workshops, art for self-exploration, and healing circles. Anyone interested in participating can contact the organizations directly.

"Mental health kept coming up in meetings with immigrant communities," said Monique Tú Nguyen, Executive Director of the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement. "As we emerge from the pandemic, it's clear we need to prioritize mental health. Many people are hurting right now, and we need to address it immediately, without stigma, in ways that make sense to the people we serve."

"We are proud to stand with Boston's immigrant communities in giving children the best possible start in life," said Emma Tobin, Executive Director of Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts. "This grant allows us to support parents and caregivers as their child's first nurturer and teacher. Thank you to Mayor Wu and the Office for Immigrant Advancement for being an incredible partner and supporting us to expand services for Asian American families with young children in Allston-Brighton and Cape Verdean parents and grandparents in the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester."

More on Boston Chron
This is the second year MOIA dedicated funding for mental health programming. In 2022, MOIA gave $70,000 to seven organizations. This year, it expanded to $129,650 through funds from We Are Boston.

We Are Boston is MOIA's annual reception that honors the contributions immigrants have made to our City. Corporate sponsorships are given out as grants to immigrant-serving nonprofits. The 2023 We Are Boston reception was held on May 19 at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts' headquarters in Boston and also served as the official launch for Immigrant Heritage Month. During the reception, Mayor Wu and MOIA recognized the Driving Families Forward Coalition, Melodias Restaurant in East Boston, and Clare Louise Okalany for their accomplishments and consistent commitment in creating opportunities for Boston's diverse communities to thrive.

"Immigrants and refugees are key contributors to Boston's economy, culture, and community," said Sarah Iselin, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, venue host and in-kind sponsor. "They are our neighbors, friends, and colleagues who have an important and positive impact on our city. We must work together to eliminate systemic inequities, ensure inclusivity, and make them feel welcome."

Twenty-two corporate sponsors funded this year's We Are Boston 2023: Visionary Courage. Their sponsorships totaling more than $122,500 dollars will go towards grants for immigrant-serving nonprofits next year. This year's Champion Sponsors are Arbella Insurance Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Klarman Family Foundation, and State Street Corporation; and the Visionary Sponsor is Eastern Bank Foundation. Last year's We Are Boston is funding this year's $160,000 in grants for wellness and multicultural community building during Immigrant Heritage Month.

Filed Under: Government, City

Show All News | Report Violation


Latest on Boston Chron