Immigrant Heritage Month celebrated in June
June is Immigrant Heritage Month in the United States. Immigrant Heritage Month is an initiative put forward by the I Am An Immigrant foundation that seeks to celebrate our shared heritage as an immigrant nation and the important contributions to our economy, culture, and common identity by immigrants from all around the world.
The celebration formally began in 2014 and seeks to give immigrants and refugees in the US the opportunity to explore and celebrate their background as well as to create awareness on how diversity and immigration are both essential elements of society. Currently, about 13% of the US population is of recent immigrant origin. Immigrants contribute in incredibly important ways to our society.
People with families that originally came from other countries created this nation, and in June, we celebrate the strength that this diversity created.
Did you know that…
- Immigrants are more than twice as likely to start a business as the native-born. In 2011, the immigrant business-formation rate was 550 new businesses per month for every 100,000 immigrants, while the native-born rate was only 270 new businesses per month for every 100,000 native-born.
- 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. This trend will most likely continue because immigrants start more than 25 percent of all businesses in seven of eight sectors of the economy that the US government expects to grow the fastest over the next decade.
- Immigrants are increasingly like to start a business, while the rate of new-business generation among the native-born is declining. The rate at which immigrants start new businesses grew by more than 50 percent between 1996 and 2011. During the same period, the business-formation rate for the native-born declined by 10 percent.
US history is full of immigrant contributions. In fact, so many things wouldn’t have existed or happened, if it wasn’t for immigrants. Books never written, movies never produced, clothes never made, technology never invented. Here are just 5 examples of famous immigrants the world would be very different without:
- Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. He discovered the world’s most famous equation (E = mc 2). In 1940, he settled in the United States and became an American citizen. One of his best-known quotes? “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
- Sergey Brin developed Google with co-founder Larry Page while they were both PhD students at Stanford. Brin was born on August 21, 1973, in Moscow in the Soviet Union, to Jewish parents. He and his family moved to the United States in 1979.
- Joseph Pulitzer was born in Hungary, and moved to Boston, US in 1864 at the age of 17. He was a newspaper publisher and was elected congressman from New York. He crusaded against big business and corruption and helped keep the Statue of Liberty in New York. Ever heard of the Pulitzer Prize? It goes to the best journalists, writers and photographers out there and was founded by Joseph after his impressive career in journalism.
- Madeleine Albright was the first woman to be the US Secretary of State. And before that, she was the US Ambassador to the UN. Along with her family, Albright immigrated to the United States in 1948 from Czechoslovakia, and she became a US citizen in 1957.
- Levi Strauss was a German-born American businessman who founded the first company to manufacture blue jeans. His firm of Levi Strauss & Co. (Levi’s) began in 1853 in San Francisco, California. The rest is history, right?
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