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Gisele Barreto Fetterman is a community leader and respected activist in Western Pennsylvania. Samantha Laub / AL DÍA News
Gisele Barreto Fetterman is a community leader and respected activist in Western Pennsylvania. Samantha Laub / AL DÍA News

Gisele Barreto Fetterman endorses 'I am an American Immigrant'

The "I am an American Immigrant" campaign from AL DÍA News will spotlight the exceptional contributions of 12 immigrants in the Philadelphia region.

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Gisele Barreto Fetterman is a shining example of the good that immigrants bring to this country.

Fetterman grew up in the U.S. undocumented after fleeing Brazil with her family as a child. Today, she’s a strong community leader and respected activist in Western Pennsylvania.

In 2012, she founded the Free Store in Braddock, an entirely volunteer-driven organization that receives surplus and donated goods then redistributes them at no cost to neighbors in need. To increase food access beyond the Free Store’s reach in her own community, Fetterman co-founded 412 Food Rescue to redistribute would-be discarded food throughout Allegheny County. To date, the organization has saved more than 2.5 million pounds of food from going to waste.

There’s also a chance Fetterman will become the next second lady of Pennsylvania. (Her husband, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, is running for lieutenant governor.)

In November, all of us here at AL DÍA were thrilled to tell Fetterman’s story, detailing her immigrant experience and the contributions she’s made to U.S. society. Now, we’re grateful to have her support for our “I am an American Immigrant” campaign, in which we will introduce readers to individuals with similar stories—Latino and Hispanic immigrants who are making exceptional cultural, social and economic contributions to the Philadelphia area.

Between February and May of 2018, AL DÍA will highlight the positive efforts of one person every week for 12 weeks. These people will be selected through a nomination process:

In celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month, “I am an American Immigrant” will culminate with an AL DÍA event on June 14. At this ceremony, AL DÍA will honor four of the 12 people profiled during the campaign. These honorees will be selected by the steering committee and announced on May 14.

AL DÍA is undertaking the “I am an American Immigrant” project in partnership with the Center on Immigration at Cabrini University.

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