Rosario Dawson and Lupita Nyong'o are among the stars who have added their star power to a new campaign dedicated to diversity issues in the U.S.
In honor of June's Immigrant Heritage Month, organizers at non-profit Welcome.us launched an initiative on Wednesday (01Jun16) called I Am An Immigrant. The campaign aims to raise awareness and encourage individuals to explore their own heritage and stand in solidarity with new Americans.
To kick off the program, a number of celebrities have lent their voices to a video, in which they discuss how immigrants are and have become an integral part of the United States.
"People say, 'Well, my family came over here on the Mayflower', and I'm like, 'Exactly! Hello, immigrant!'", Rosario says. "You can trace back from trains being built, cities and industries being developed because of different influxes of people who came in. It's incredible to be part of a culture that's still living. What we expect or think about what America is, it's fluid."
Lupita, who was born in Mexico and raised in Kenya, adds, "What I think is so wonderful about America is the fact that it's a society of immigrants," while African-American singer Akon said, "The notion of America not supporting immigrants, to me is absurd. When you look at history, America was built on immigrants. You can go back as far as 400 years. It was built by slaves, who, at the end of the day, weren't from here."
Other stars featured in the video include Wilmer Valderrama, Bobby Cannavale, Miguel, Rosie Perez, Tracee Ellis Ross, Alan Cumming, and Guillermo Diaz.
The celebrities who took part in the campaign were also photographed by Beasts of No Nation director Cary Fukunaga, the son of a third-generation Japanese-American father, who was born in a Japanese incarceration camp during World War II.