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Day of Immigration event sheds light on immigrant inclusion

Published: May. 1, 2021 at 8:33 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The City of Gainesville and Madres Sin Fronteras hosted the Day of the Immigrant event to spread awareness and shed light on immigrant equity and inclusion.

More than a dozen vendors and hundreds of residents came to Bo Diddly Plaza to show their support and learn about the different cultures that are apart of the Gainesville community.

Member of Madres Sin Frontera’s, Jennifer Molina says they want their voices to be heard.

“We don’t want to be in the shadows, we don’t want to be scared anymore,” Molina said. “We are here. We are your fellow neighbors and we just want a more diverse community.”

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The event is a part of the Gainesville Immigrant Neighbor Inclusion (GINI) effort to continue the conversation of immigrant visibility and access.

The director of promotion at Rural Women’s Health Project, Robin Lewy, hoped the event would encourage residents to recognize immigrants as people.

“We recognize that immigrants in our community just as we do every Labor Day, every first of May, to recognize that people work hard and they pay their taxes and they’re doing their part and to be received and loved the same as every other neighbor they have,” said Lewy.

In addition, participants had the opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and purchase a community ID, that can be used with law enforcement, schools and health centers.

City Commissioner David Arreola purchased a community ID and said immigrants should be seen in a positive light, instead of a negative one.

“When you think about how immigrants are often excluded and often messages about immigrants are really negative,” Arreola said. “I think you have to consider that is a moral issue and we need to correct that because we don’t do that for everyone in America.”

For more information on how to get a community ID, click HERE.

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