Honor Immigrant Heritage Month & Champion Immigrant Inclusion

#ImmigrantHeritageMonth is celebrated to recognize the significant contributions immigrants have made and continue to make in the United States. Now more than ever, diversity, equity, and inclusion champions must amplify the importance of this month at work, and advocate for our colleagues who were born in a different country.

For those making the case for the inclusion of immigrants in the workplace, please remind your colleagues 80 million people living in the U.S. are either first or second generation immigrants - 86% of which are legally authorized to live in the country. Of those who are undocumented, 6 of every 10 are well-established community members who have lived in the country for over a decade.

According to PolicyLink, if the Federal Government adopted fair-minded policies creating pathways to citizenship, the U.S. economy would benefit in the following ways:

* 159,000 new jobs would be created *annually*
* $1.4 trillion additional GDP could be generated over 10 years
* Earnings would rise by 25% increasing revenue for federal, state, and local governments

For business leaders, consider honoring Immigrant Heritage Month by demonstrating your support for the inclusion of immigrants in the workplace. You can start by taking the following actions, and then issue a formal statement addressing how your organization is supporting immigrants:

  1. Support advocacy organizations like RAICES, a Texas-based organization offering free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children and families.                                                                                                                                                   
  2. Attend a #FamiliesBelongTogether rally on June 30th. If you're in Portland, look out for the RPC crew. We will be in front of the U.S. Immigration Court at 11 am. Find a rally near you by visiting this site.                                                                                                                
  3. Contact ALL of your elected officials, and hold them accountable to defend migrant children. They must leverage all of their political capital to put in end to the Federal family separation policy.                                                                                                                                            
  4. Sign this petition to demand the Department of Homeland Security stop tearing immigrant children from their parents: https://www.change.org/p/department-of-homeland-security-st….

It's on us to be the change we want to see in the world. The time is right - right now - to #KeepFamiliesTogether, advocate for the rights of our colleagues no matter their national origin, and defend our values.

Rhodes Perry

Rhodes Perry is a nationally recognized expert on LGBTQ and social justice public policy matters, with two decades of leadership experience innovating strategy management, policy and program solutions for corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. At his core, Rhodes is an entrepreneur, where he most recently established Rhodes Perry Consulting, LLC, a national diversity and inclusion consulting firm that uses an intersectional approach to collaborate with leaders on creating solutions in the practice areas of strategy management, issue advocacy, and stakeholder engagement. Previously, Rhodes founded the Office of LGBTQ Policy & Practice at the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, and prior to this assignment he served as the founding Director of Policy at PFLAG National where he led the policy strategy and advocacy efforts for the organization’s 350 chapters. He cut his teeth serving as a Program Examiner at the White House Office of Management & Budget, where he improved upon federal benefit programs designed to provide assistance to low-income communities. Rhodes earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and obtained a Master of Public Administration from New York University.