Mayor Wu and the City of Boston Celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month With 1st Annual City of Belonging Festival

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~ Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA) are gearing up for a month-long celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month this June. The first annual City of Belonging festival will be a citywide event, spanning across Boston's diverse neighborhoods and featuring over 50 community-led events that showcase global art and culture through music, dance, performance, and community-building.

As the daughter of immigrants herself, Mayor Wu understands the important role that immigrant families and communities play in making cities more welcoming, resilient, and joyful. She stated, "This month is a time to celebrate Boston's immigrant communities and for residents and families to come together in community. As we work towards building a Boston for everyone, we are focused on promoting wellness, building community, and creating space for joy in all of Boston's neighborhoods."

MOIA has partnered with over 30 diverse organizations to host events throughout the month that are free and open to the public. These events include cultural celebrations, concerts, food and film festivals, performances, block parties, storytelling events, and activism workshops. A full list of events can be found on boston.gov/belonging.

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In addition to the City of Belonging festival, MOIA has also announced the launch of their City of Belonging campaign. This campaign aims to transform Boston into a welcoming and empowering home for immigrants by addressing social determinants of health for immigrants and harnessing their collective power. The initiative will culminate with the 1st Annual Immigrant Advancement Forum in fall 2024 and Boston becoming a Welcoming Certified city in 2025.

Monique Tú Nguyen, Executive Director of MOIA expressed her excitement about the City of Belonging campaign stating that it marks a pivotal moment in making Boston a place where every resident truly feels they belong. She said, "Through this groundbreaking effort, we will build a more just and equitable city for immigrant communities and all Bostonians."

The City of Belonging festival will conclude with a special concert, "Belong in Boston," in partnership with Sofar Sounds. The concert will feature a curated lineup of global acts and provide a space for residents to come together and enjoy emerging international performers. The concert will take place on Saturday, June 29, 2024 at 7:30 p.m. in Downtown at a venue that will be announced closer to the date.

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Ryan DiLello, Growth Manager for Sofar Sounds Boston, expressed his excitement about the partnership with MOIA for this special run of shows. He said, "Amplifying and supporting an inclusive and diverse community of musicians is at the core of what we do in Boston. I hope these shows will deepen musical networks across cultures and provide Boston with some unforgettable nights in truly imaginative locations."

This week, MOIA hosted their annual We Are Boston reception to celebrate the leadership within the immigrant community and their contributions to the city. The event was held at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts' headquarters and was attended by Mayor Wu and MOIA. During the reception, they recognized several individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to the immigrant community.

Sarah Iselin, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, who hosted the We Are Boston 2024 reception, emphasized the importance of celebrating immigrants' contributions to Boston's economy, culture, and community. She stated, "This celebration is also a call to action – to ensure we are all working together to create an inclusive city where everyone has the opportunity to grow and thrive."

As Immigrant Heritage Month approaches, Mayor Wu and MOIA are excited to celebrate Boston's diverse immigrant communities through the City of Belonging festival. They hope that this month-long celebration will bring residents together in community while also promoting wellness, building connections, and creating space for joy across all of Boston's neighborhoods.

Filed Under: Government, City

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