Meet the “I am an American Immigrant” Selection Committee
The "I am an American Immigrant" campaign from AL DÍA News will spotlight the exceptional contributions of 12 immigrants in the Philadelphia region.
Meet the “I am an American Immigrant”...
By Celia Batista
January 10, 2018
During times when immigration is commonly seen as a threat to the US, it’s important to keep reminding ourselves of the essential work immigrants have done and will continue to do in every aspect of our society.
Immigrants are inventors, doctors, builders, professors, parents and business owners. They are individuals that contribute to the betterment of our nation in ways that are not always appreciated.
To highlight the significant accomplishments of Latino and Hispanic immigrants in the Philadelphia area, AL DÍA News has launched the “I am an American Immigrant” campaign.
“I am an American Immigrant,” which AL DÍA is undertaking in partnership with Cabrini University, is designed to recognize the relevant contributions that local immigrants make to the Philadelphia region.
Our readers have until February 1 to nominate immigrants who inspire them, who stand out in their communities. To make a nomination, click here.
After the nomination process is complete, a selection committee comprised of three influential local Hispanic leaders will choose 12 of these nominees to have their stories told in AL DÍA News.
The “I am an American Immigrant” campaign will close with an award ceremony on June 14, where four nominees will be recognized for their exceptional accomplishments.
The “I am an American Immigrant” Selection Committee
The members of our selection committee have distinguished themselves as successful professionals, and they have each established deep connections within Philadelphia’s immigrant communities.
In December, we asked the members of the selection committee two questions:
- What characterizes an American immigrant?
- Why is it important to recognize them?
We compiled their answers in a promotional video for the campaign, which can be found on our website.
Abel Rodríguez is the director of the Center on Immigration at Cabrini University. He is the son of immigrants and the first person in his family to go to college.
Rodríguez is an expert on immigration policy and often speaks on the matter. To him, “immigrants are an essential part of what makes our community so vibrant.”
Jennifer Rodríguez is president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she came to the mainland to pursue higher education. She earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Boston University and a master's degree in city and regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
For Rodríguez, immigrants are a great asset to the US because they turn vacant properties into thriving businesses, revitalizing the depleted sectors of our communities.
Peter Gonzales is the president and CEO of the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians. Volunteer work and civic engagement have been constants throughout his career.
For Gonzales, immigrants bring to the US fresh perspectives.
“They bring with them new ideas, innovative ways of solving problems that America is facing,” he said. “(They) also bring great energy and a commitment not only to improve their own lives but (also) to make a difference in the community they are part of.”
Let us know today about an immigrant you think deserves recognition for the good that they bring to our region.