Community event

The City of Gainesville, Madres Sin Fronteras and a network of local advocacy organizations will host a Day of the Immigrant event Saturday to celebrate diversity and build community among neighbors of all backgrounds and ethnicities.

The event is 6-8 p.m. tomorrow at Bo Diddley Plaza in downtown Gainesville. The fellowship celebration, which is open to the public, will include food trucks, music and information tables. To help ensure public health and safety, organizers ask that attendees wear facial coverings when not eating and practice social distancing at the event, in accordance with the latest CDC guidelines

Attendees will be able to obtain a community identification (local picture ID) card from the Human Rights Coalition of Alachua County (HRC). The cost of a community ID is $10 and details about what’s needed to apply is available online.

The card serves as an alternative ID at public schools, local libraries, participating local banks and direct health and human service providers. In a show of community support, Gainesville Police Department Assistant Chief Terry Pierce will obtain his Community ID at the event.

Near the east end of the stage, a limited quantity of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Attendees also will hear from local leaders about the Gainesville Immigrant Neighbor Inclusion (GINI) Initiative, a collaborative community-wide effort designed to support and promote immigrants in Gainesville.

“The contributions of our foreign-born neighbors are one of the many ingredients that enrich our community," Gainesville Assistant City Manager Deborah Bowie said in a press release. "At the City, we’re working to improve immigrant access to City services, and revise our policies with language that’s inclusive of all neighbors."

The city said creating an inclusive community for all is a cornerstone of the city’s strategic plan.

“No matter one’s country of origin or migration story, let us become a community that welcomes our new neighbors," said Robin Lewy, director of programming at Rural Women’s Health Project. "Day of the Immigrant is a community-wide celebration of inclusion. This event, as well as the GINI Initiative, serve to build equity in Gainesville."

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