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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: June 19, 2019

Mayor Brown Celebrates Immigrant Heritage Month at Buffalo City Hall

immigrant heritage month

Buffalo, NY - In celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month 2019, Mayor Byron W. Brown and Jessica Lazarin, Director of the City of Buffalo Office of New Americans, hosted a special Immigrant Heritage Month program that included a partial display of the gallery photographs featured in the ‘Finding Refuge in Buffalo’ project. The exhibit, by University at Buffalo’s Director of Journalism Jody K. Biehl and internationally acclaimed photographer Brendan Bannon, showcases local refugees and immigrants from the Buffalo community and features photos and stories of people who risked it all to call Buffalo home.

“Buffalo is a stronger, vibrant and more inclusive city of opportunity because of the contributions of thousands of immigrants who live in our community,” said Mayor Brown. “We’re proud of the investments we’ve made to help residents successfully pursue their dreams, ensuring that they and their families will be able to call Buffalo home for generations to come. I thank Jody K. Biehl and Brendan Bannon for bringing some of their stories to life through photographs.”

Director Lazarin stated, “Buffalo is so fortunate to have its immigrant heritage long recognized and sincerely cherished. In commemorating Immigrant Heritage Month with today’s photo presentation, we’re altogether celebrating the city’s immigrant past and forging the basis of its diverse future. It’s very special to see that Buffalo’s character, with its increasing festivals, languages and customs, continues to be a welcoming city and place of refuge for new arrivals.”

‘Finding Refuge in Buffalo’ first opened on May 10th. The exhibit explores the Buffalo community’s long history as a hub for refugees and immigration. It features 24 profiles of people who came to Buffalo in the past 15 years. During the program held in the lobby of Buffalo City Hall, a video, produced by UB about the project, was shown. See the video @ Several of those refugees and immigrants featured in the exhibit attended today’s program, including Sakhi Qurbani, Ali Kadhum, Rubens Mukunzi, Zaw Win and Zayar Swe. The exhibit will be on view at the Argus Gallery, 1896 Niagara St., from June 28 through July 20th.

Immigrant Heritage Month is a month-long celebration highlighting the incredible contributions that immigrants have made and continue to make to the City of Buffalo, and our nation. At today’s event, Mayor Brown also proclaimed June 2019 as Immigrant Heritage Month. As a Welcoming City, he recognizes and celebrates the diversity that makes Buffalo such a special place to live, work, invest and raise a family.


Other Immigrant Heritage Month events taking place this month include:

June 20

World Refugee Day (WRD) BuffaloLIT event

Buffalo City Hall and other historic landmark buildings and structures citywide will be lit orange and black

Saturday, June 29

The 12th Annual Burmese/Myanmar Water Festival of Buffalo 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Grant Street (between Auburn Ave. and Breckenridge St.)

Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30 World Refugee Day Festivities

LaSalle Park

11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Saturday, June 29

Buffalo’s 16th annual Taste of Diversity Festival 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Grant Street (between Auburn Ave. and Lafayette Ave.)

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