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PR- 081-04
April 14, 2004


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Sayu V. Bhojwani today launched the City’s first Immigrant History Week, a series of events showcasing the immigrant experience in New York City.  The Mayor was joined by Deputy Mayor Carol Robles-Roman and Cultural Affairs Commissioner, Kate D. Levin at a Gracie Mansion breakfast attended by prominent immigrant New Yorkers.  Among those participating in the announcement were the President of Hunter College Jennifer Raab, President of the Museum of the City of New York Susan Henshaw Jones, Vice President of Marketing Services at The New York Times Alyse Myers, Vice President of Marketing at MetLife Tariq Khan, and Founder and President of the Lower East Tenement Museum Ruth Abram.  Immigrant History Week begins on Thursday, April 15 and runs through Wednesday, April 21, including April 17, the day in 1907 when the most immigrants passed through Ellis Island.
“I am extremely proud to launch the City’s first Immigrant History Week and look forward to seeing it become a New York City tradition,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “New York has always been the World’s Second Home.  The events of this week will remind all New Yorkers of our connection to one another and give us all a chance to remember the history of our families and communities as New York continues to be the magnet attracting immigrants from all over the world.”

“This week is a symbolic recognition of the immigrant labor that has built our country and the every day contributions by immigrants that make our City competitive and dynamic, both culturally and economically,” said Commissioner Sayu Bhojwani. “As an immigrant myself, I am especially honored to see this Administration build on its ongoing commitment to immigrant New Yorkers by recognizing Immigrant History Week through this directive.”

In its first year, Immigrant History Week will feature cultural activities throughout the City’s neighborhoods.  Scheduled events range from an all-female steel-pan band at Brooklyn Museum to an artisans workshop at the Longwood Art Gallery in the Bronx. Weekend and evening activities such as the Spring Family Arts Workshop at the Museum of Chinese in the Americas, will make it possible for families to learn together about the immigrant experience. A highlight of the week is the opening at the Museum of the City of New York of Global New York: The Lower East Side, an exhibition of photographs of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, depicting the continuities and changes in this fabled immigrant neighborhood.

Also announced was an upcoming essay contest sponsored by MetLife that will focus on immigrant contributions to America and award a total $50,000 in U.S. savings bonds to students in grades 6 to 12.  All attendees at the breakfast announcement also received a copy of the newly published book, "The New York Times Guide for Immigrants in New York City," by The New York Times Metro assistant editor Joan Nassivera.  Written in partnership with The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, this guide is an essential resource for all immigrants and contains practical information on finding housing, securing a job, opening a bank account and enrolling in schools.  It is published in English, Spanish and Chinese. 

A comprehensive listing of the events was given to all attendees.  The listing can also be found at, under the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.  The New York Times Community Affairs Department is the Media Sponsor of Immigrant History Week.


Edward Skyler / Silvia Alvarez   (212) 788-2958


Nina Spensley   (MOIA)
(212) 788-6722

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